I live and maintain my law practice in Ridgewood, New Jersey where I am a member of the Ridgewood Environmental Action Committee (REAC). REAC will be running an Earth Day event on May 14th with the Ridgewood High School Student Environmental Action Club with the theme “Every Day is Earth Day."

Although Earth Day (April 22nd) is one day in the year when environmental concerns are brought to the forefront and there is great focus on how each one of us can “go green," it would help the planet and probably your budget if you picked up an environmentally friendly habit that you kept all year.

If you use less gasoline by driving fewer miles, that will help with air pollution. And you will save money. If you turn out the lights when you leave a room, that will help save resources that are used to generate electricity. And you will save money on your electrical bill. If you don’t print out every document you generate, that will save trees which help clean the air. And using less paper will save you money. Stop buying bottled water and use tap water (much of the bottled water comes from municipal water supplies). You will save money and get those plastic bottles out of the landfills. Plant a vegetable garden and don’t use chemical pesticides. Your vegetables will be organic and almost free.

Businesses can also be more mindful of the environment. Do you have recycling containers in your offices so that your employees and customers will recycle paper, glass, and plastic? Do you encourage flex-time, office sharing, carpooling, and telecommuting? Each of these ideas contribute to less air pollution and less need for office space. It also improves employee morale. If your business owns a building, is it properly insulated to conserve heat and air conditioning? Do you re-use, refurbish or recycle your electronics or do you just throw them away? Do you refill your ink cartridges? That’s cheaper than buying new cartridges and helps the environment. Do you remind your employees to turn off lights and computers? This saves on your electric bill. Have you purchased a hybrid for your company car? The savings on gas is huge, especially when gasoline prices are going up almost every day.

Going green in your business will improve your brand image, attract more new clients, see higher profits because of lower operating costs (utilities, waste disposal, etc.), and enjoy improved employee productivity, morale and retention. So, adopt one new green habit this Earth Day and keep up the good habit all year long.