At 8.30pm local time on March 28, lights and electronics were switched off across the globe as part of Earth Hour 2015. The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. It is now a global phenomenon, and an open declaration of the global desire to reverse the impact of climate change. Participants […]
At 8.30pm local time on March 28, lights and electronics were switched off across the globe as part of Earth Hour 2015.
The first Earth Hour was held in 2007 in Sydney, Australia. It is now a global phenomenon, and an open declaration of the global desire to reverse the impact of climate change. Participants switch off electricity to show that they care about the planet, with their efforts echoed by the darkening of famous landmarks such as New York’s Empire State Building, and Big Ben and Buckingham Palace in London.
Earth Hour is organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the largest and most respected conservation groups in the world. This year’s event was the largest to date, with hundreds of millions of individuals taking part, spanning 24 time zones, six continents and 172 countries. And it’s not just individuals that take part. Each year more companies, associations and government bodies join in to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
Here at The Refinishing Touch we work with a client base that includes more than 22,000 organizations in hospitality, education and government, so we often see first-hand that organizations certainly do want to commit to sustainable business practices. No good business manager or owner wants to intentionally damage our planet; they want to help inspire positive change.
As expected, this year’s Earth Hour included activities by a number of brands and businesses that we are proud to work with:
- Wyndham Worldwide, which has won a number of awards and accolades for its commitment to sustainability, participated for the sixth year in a row. Lights were turned off or dimmed, and a number of hotels planned Earth Hour events including many holding candlelit dinners
- Hilton Worldwide joined in for its fifth Earth Hour, allowing its 12 brands and 4,300-plus properties to get creative. As well as switching off or dimming lights and neon signs, it also held candlelit dinners with low carbon menus, sustainable cocktails, and even organized candle-making for guests
- Marriott International participated by switching off lights and by publicizing its commitment to reduce energy and water use by 20 percent by 2020. Marriott’s Ritz-Carlton brand also held a series of fun events including candlelit stories, beach barbeques and star-lit meditation
Events like Earth Hour must be applauded for helping to encourage individuals and brands to recognize environmental change. And yet we are also proud to witness the day-to-day commitment of hotels brands such as Hilton, Marriott and Wyndham as they embrace long-term environmental practices such as furniture asset management. After all, there’s little point in any brand switching off the lights for an hour if they continue to buy lower quality, throw-away furniture destined for landfill, unnecessarily multiplying their carbon footprints by a hundred-fold. Sustainable practices pay more respect to the trees that have been cut down to make the furniture we all use day-to-day.
So we look forward to the next Earth Day on March 19, 2016. But for the 51 weeks in between, we will continue to urge all businesses to embed sustainability in day-to-day best practices.
For further information about how to plan and manage your furniture assets, please contact our team at email@example.com.
We regularly write on sustainability and how it’s in line with the mission of the hotels, colleges and government organizations with which we work. These organizations want to reduce their carbon footprint, environmental impact, and save their bottom line. To us, and our 22,000-plus customers, furniture asset management practices such as refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing […]
Last week, councilman Paul Koretz proposed an inspiring motion to reduce the carbon footprint of Los Angeles 80 percent by 2050. Koretz discussed plans to increase the city’s transition from coal to renewable energy sources by adding more trees, solar rooftops and deploying more clean-burning garbage trucks.
However, if LA isn’t able to replace energy it currently buys from the coal-fired plants in Utah, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) may need to buy more solar and wind energy. Though it is 100% carbon-emission free, it is costly. It is promising to see that the LADWP is on track to reduce carbon emissions by 58 percent in 2025, and up to 70 percent by 2030.
At The Refinishing Touch, we pride ourselves on our green credentials and all our products are safe, non-toxic and environmentally friendly. We work hard to reduce carbon emissions of government edifices and it’s encouraging to see communities take steps towards becoming greener and managing their environmental impact. We hope the Los Angeles climate change plan will inspire others to do the same and take a more proactive approach to becoming environmentally conscious.
Do you know the impact of your organization’s activities on the environment? When it comes to replacing furniture, there’s a huge impact – just consider that cutting down one tree to make new furniture produces more than 58 tons of CO2 with an additional 7.4 tons produced to then cut that tree into sections and transport it. By the time you add assembling and shipping, the total is an estimated 125.32 tons of CO2 for every 100 rooms of furniture, compared to less than 1.25 tons for 100 rooms of refinished furniture.
To calculate your carbon footprint – and see how you can reduce it with furniture asset management – follow this link.
With any renovation project – whether it be on a large-scale or done at home – safety comes first. Oftentimes, particularly when refinishing furniture on your own, it’s difficult to identify the dangers and utilize the correct materials to minimize accidents. In recent years, whether it be a hotel or a home, dangerous situations have made the news.
For example, a stubborn fire broke out in Oakland hills last year believed to have been caused by rags soaked in chemicals and left in an enclosed basement by one of the occupants living in the home refinishing a piece of furniture. We’re relieved no one was injured in the Oakland hills fire, however the accident should serve as a warning to anyone to all refinishing professionals or those taking on projects individually.
Repairing and restoring old furniture yourself is fun and enjoyable, and a great way to save money. Upcycling existing assets rather than replacing saves on product costs, shipping costs and the cost to the environment while more than doubling the assets lifespan – it is an important route to consider in any renovation.
However caution must be taken when using dangerous chemicals and items shouldn’t be left unattended in the process. Remember that traditional chemicals are flammable so where possible always do the work outside, or ensure there is adequate ventilation as oily rags can spontaneously combust.
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are organic chemicals with a high vapor pressure emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs come from common refinishing materials including paint strippers, cleaning supplies, paints and lacquers. Concentrations of many VOCs may be up to ten times higher than outdoors.
As a company that lives and breathes sustainability, we actively encourage people to think green, and refinishing, repairing or remanufacturing items at home, or employing professional service contractors to do so is a fantastic way to be both cost and environmentally efficient.
At The Refinishing Touch, we ensure the safety of our customers and their guests by eliminating toxic and hot chemicals through the use of low –VOC, nonvolatile compounds and safe materials for refinishing projects. All our products are non-toxic, drastically reducing the risk of fire, and environmentally friendly.
To learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s low-VOC lacquers and safe materials, get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org.