Top 7 tips to become carbon neutral

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Summertown Interiors, which plans to become carbon neutral by 2020, has shared its top seven tips on how people and businesses can reduce their carbon footprint.

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“Going green is often treated as just a buzz word, yet as we see the severity of the situation worsen regionally it is now more important than ever that we take steps to preserve our environment and natural resources. As we see the government committing to a greener UAE, we have to look to ourselves to take responsibility and make pro-active efforts,” said Marcos Bish, managing director, Summertown Interiors.

“At Summertown we are big believers in following green practices and by doing so, have managed to save a considerable 32% on lighting energy, and 58% on water consumption.

As environmental responsibility comes hand in hand with certain realities, our foremost ambition is to not only raise awareness of the need for action but also show that small steps can go a long way towards going green,” said Bish.

Summertown was the first interior fit-out and turnkey firm to occupy a LEED gold certified office and showroom in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA), while its  joinery company was the first in the UAE to be ISO certified, and performs under the ISO quality management system.

Summertown’s Green Committee’s top tips:

1. Take It Slow It’s not feasible to suddenly throw out every light bulb and switch to green. Not only is this costly, but it’s also not very kind to the environment. Do it gradually. Next time a bulb needs changing, make it an energy saving bulb.

2. Get Fresh Buy local produce. Not only does it taste great, but the carbon emissions produced to transport these items is far less as they don’t have to travel half way across the world before making it to our supermarket shelves. It also supports the local farming community.

3. Lend a Hand Borrow instead of buying. Buying a new book is great, yet this inevitably encourages the printing of more and more books, which is hugely wasteful in terms of paper. Try to limit buying new books to special occasions. For your everyday reading, join the local library, an online book rental service and exchange books with friends.

4. Garden Your Way Green Placing a plant indoors (or outdoors if there’s room) helps to increase air quality by producing more oxygen that keeps you awake during long office hours. Consider turning the roof top of your office/villa/apartment into a small garden, which helps to cool buildings, reduce storm water runoff and provide wildlife with a natural habitat – you also have a lovely place to escape or relax.

5. Switch Off 40% of all electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while the devices are turned off. Unplug personal computers, electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use. Use one large multi-socket power strip to plug your computer, monitor, speakers, scanner, modem, and printer to make it easier.

6. Double It Up By simply using the reverse side of paper with printing, photocopying and scanning that can be easily done using modern printers, you can save a significant paper wastage that is not only kinder to the environment but will save considerable money on the company’s stationery bill.

7. Driving Force Leave a little bit more time in the morning to drive at your car’s optimum performance for fuel consumption, allowing you to make cost savings and produce fewer CO2 emissions while having the added benefit of reducing the risk of an accident and helping to keep blood pressure intact.



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