Learn keys to going green in Vail | VailDaily.com

Learn keys to going green in Vail

Cassie PenceVail Daily correspondentVail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado -When making your Vail Valley business or organization more sustainable, K.J. McCorry, CEO of EcoOfficiency, says start with the low hanging “green” fruit.”People think it’s very expensive to go green, but I gear businesses to take the low hanging fruit first, things that are easy, doable and low cost that just require employees to change, like turning off computers and turning off lights,” McCorry says. On Friday, McCorry, whose runs a sustainability consulting company out of Boulder for small- to medium-sized businesses, will teach 10 steps for bringing sustainability into businesses and organizations during a seminar at the Antlers in Vail from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.Participants will get a general understanding of how to conduct their own “green” audits and learn how to develop a sustainability plan. Participants will gain basic knowledge about the areas that could be addressed in their sustainability plan, including waste management, reduction of paper and energy and water reduction.”When you’re talking about greening your business, in terms of the whole concept, what people do not realize is this is a way to operate, as opposed to being a project that you do and then it’s done,” McCorry says. “You get started on it and always integrate sustainability into the business. It becomes part of your culture, part of how you operate.”Participants will also learn how to form green teams to help implement the company’s new sustainability initiatives, and McCorry will teach how to integrate these values as part of the company culture and how to get upper management’s’ support.”The people who are the catalysts for wanting to make the business or organization more sustainable are not necessarily the CEOs and upper management,” McCorry says. “Even if management says yes, that’s not enough. People don’t realize that getting the CEO and upper management on board is crucial to the business being sustainable. “I will talk about how to get management’s support and why it is so important.”McCorry says a sustainability plan looks different for each business or organization. It depends on the company’s resources and goals. One of her clients, for example, wanted to focus on the cafeteria. With the cafeteria’s manager active support, the business incorporated recycled napkins, biodegradable cups and began a composting program. “Even though the cost of the cafeteria went up 10 to 15 cents, employees were willing to pay it,” McCorry says. “They focused in on one area, the manager of the department was really committed and it became a very successful undertaking,” For her seminar on Friday, McCorry says anyone who is interested in the big picture of what it takes to green their business or the company they work for should attend.”I’m going to teach what a sustainable plan looks like. It can be complicated, it can be simple, but you will learn all the aspects you should think about when you are getting started,” McCorry says.

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