For local businesses and industries interested in doing their part to help the environment but not sure where to begin, there is help available.
The Pollution Prevention Assistance Division, a non-regulatory division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, offers free confidential energy assessments for businesses and will provide participating businesses with free assistance to set and meet environmental goals.
At a recent Newton AM event hosted by the Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce at DeKalb Tech's Newton Campus, Larry Razzetti, a pollution prevention engineer for PPAD, briefed attendees on how his department could help their businesses become more energy efficient and environmentally friendly and save money on energy and water bills.
"We look at everything that's coming in and everything that's going out," Razzetti said of PPAD's Partnership for a Sustainable Georgia, which provides the free energy assessments.
According to Razzetti, by following the recommendations of PPAD, participating Georgia businesses in fiscal year 2006 were able to save 586,000 pounds of solid waste, 32 million gallons of water, 120 million kilowatts of electricity and $48 million.
"Water is the big thing right now," Razzetti said, noting that Georgia's current water usage cannot keep up with available resources in the long term.
Razzetti said some of the easiest ways to save water are actually very simple and cost effective such as installing low-flow toilets and sinks. Current toilets average 4.5 gallons per flush while ultra-low flow toilets average 1.6 gallons per flush he said.
Businesses can also cut down on their electricity use by installing motion sensors which will trigger their lights to turn on when someone enters the room, thereby eliminating the energy waste that occurs when employees forget to turn the lights out when they leave a room.
Razzetti emphasized that all assessments are confidential.
"I don't go in there looking for violations," Razzetti said.
To find out more about PPAD's free energy assessments visit www.p2ad.org or call (404) 651-5120.