Door County Environmental Resources
Destination Door County Research
Leave No Trace Resident & Visitor Survey Results (PDF) - April 2021
This research project helped Destination Door County (DDC) assess resident & visitor understanding of stewardship practices, awareness of new DDC outdoor ethics guidelines, and the importance of outdoor recreation opportunities in Door County.
- Friends of the Grand Traverse Islands: Our mission is to promote, preserve, and protect the natural and cultural resources of the Grand Traverse Islands in Wisconsin and Michigan for the inspiration, recreation, and education of this and future generations. For more information visit https://www.grandtraverseislands.org/.
- Travel Green: Travel Green Wisconsin certified businesses are working hard to do their part in protecting our environment for today and future generations. Investing in them means an investment in a more sustainable future that preserves our natural resources. For more information visit https://www.travelwisconsin.com/travel-resources/travel-green-wisconsin.
- Legacy Communities – a Green Tier Charter: Green Tier is a voluntary program that recognizes and rewards environmental performance "that voluntarily exceeds legal requirements related to health, safety and the environment resulting in continuous improvement in this state's environment, economy, and quality of life." For more information visit http://greentiercommunities.org/
- Celebrate Water: Celebrate Water is a year-long series of activities to celebrate Door County’s water, understand the threats to our water, and inspire people to act and protect our water. It is an initiative of Healthy Water Door County, a fund of the Door County Community Foundation, Inc. The mission of Healthy Water Door County is to protect our community’s human, environmental, and economic health by guarding against threats to our water. For more information visit http://celebratewaterdoorcounty.org.
- Play Clean Go: Stop invasive species in your tracks. REMOVE plants, animals & mud from boots, gear, pets & vehicle. CLEAN your gear before entering & leaving the recreation site. STAY on designated roads & trails. USE CERTIFIED or local firewood & hay. To learn more visit www.playcleango.org.
- Door County Environmental Council: Fostering the preservation of Door County’s natural resources by advocating for the protection and preservation of our natural resources for all of Earth's inhabitants and future generations. For more information visit http://www.dcec-wi.org/.
- Door County Land Trust: The Door County Land Trust has worked to preserve, maintain and enhance lands that contribute significantly to the scenic beauty, open space, and ecological integrity of Door County. In pursuit of this mission, we have earned a reputation as one of the Midwest’s premier conservation organizations. We have worked with scores of landowners to protect more than 8,000 acres of fields, forests, farmlands, orchards, wetlands and shoreline. For more information visit http://www.doorcountylandtrust.org.
- Niagara Escarpment Resource Network: The Niagara Escarpment is a prominent rock ridge that spans nearly 1,000 miles in an arc across the Great Lakes region, forming the ancient “backbone” of North America. It runs from eastern Wisconsin to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, through southern Ontario to western New York State, where Niagara Falls cascades over it, giving the escarpment its name.
- The Ridges Sanctuary: The mission of The Ridges is to protect the Sanctuary and inspire stewardship of natural areas through programs of education, outreach and research. We believe we will be the center for Environmental Stewardship. For more information visit http://www.ridgessanctuary.org.
- Climate Change Door County: Climate Change Coalition of Door County is a non-partisan organization that through education, outreach and civil dialogue increases public understanding of climate change and its many detrimental impacts at home and around the world. Our objective is to inspire prompt action by individuals and policymakers at all levels to address the causes and challenges of climate change and to help communities adapt to its impacts. For more information visit https://climatechangedoorcounty.com.
Water Heating Tips
- Buy a water heater blanket and follow the instructions to wrap it tightly around your water heater. It's an inexpensive way to help your water heater run more efficiently.
- Reduce use of hot water by installing water flow restrictions on your faucets.
- Fix leaks to help conserve energy and save money.
- Set water temperatures at 110-120 degrees to prevent scalding and save energy.
For more energy saving tips visit https://accel.wisconsinpublicservice.com/business/saving.aspx.
Travel Wisconsin Resources
Become Green Certified
Article: 7 Smart Ways To Make Your Business Environmentally-Friendly
Meeting our environmental responsibilities - be it at a domestic or business level - is more pressing than ever. Landfills are full, and oceans are choking. A recent report revealed that Americans are throwing away 230 million tons of waste each year - more than any other nation in the world. That said, it’s not too late - we’ve still a window of time to turn things around for the better.
Operating a green business is instrumental in creating and leading positive change. Notwithstanding the hugely positive impact on the environment, being green is also good for your bottom line. Adhering to the 3 Rs of Waste Hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), and conserving resources can actually save your business money in the long-run.
So without further ado, here are my smart tips for businesses looking to take ownership of their environmental footprint:
1. Office Supplies
In the U.S. alone, over four million disposable pens are thrown away every day. And that’s just pens. Your businesses can make changes by stocking the office with reusable pens - ones which simply have their inks refilled. The process of refilling makes it easier to keep track of pens, rather than losing them and simply replacing them. Plus they actually work out cheaper long-term.
Additionally, consider appointing someone - another member of staff, or office manager - to oversee and keep track of the stationary cupboard. Be transparent by explaining to your team that the process isn’t to take everyone back to their school days, but to ‘green’ up the office. Eventually, people will start to realize the need to take ownership of their own environmental footprint and impact.
For a more accurate picture of how much your business throws out, you could conduct a waste review or audit. It’s important that you’re aware of what you can recycle as well: throwing just a small amount of unrecyclable material can cause the entire portion of recycled material to become contaminated and therefore end in a landfill fate.
One of the easiest ways to make your business more environmentally-friendly is to practice green procurement. Review your procurement policies when looking for suppliers and choose to source goods and services that have been produced sustainably and don’t require excessive packaging. Make sure your supplies don’t contain substances which are toxic and harmful to the environment, can be recycled/reused, and are made from renewable materials. Be inquisitive and curious when researching and speaking to suppliers as to where the good are coming from and how they will be presented when they get to you.
Finding suppliers in your area is a good place to start with green procurement. Are there any local companies that can supply your business with what it needs? Rather than sourcing products online, ask around in your locale. Some smaller suppliers may not have a massive online presence but do business via word-of-mouth and be just as good at it.
Additional tips: check if your suppliers offer a service where they take back packaging for reuse. In terms of logistics, find couriers who commit to carbon-neutral delivery methods.
There’s no denying we’ve firmly entered into the digital era. Yet the use of paper in your business is inevitable - particularly if you’re sending out letters and direct mail which require envelopes. Make the easy switch to eco-friendly envelopes, and envelopes which are reusable. Reusable envelopes reduce costs on envelope spend and acquisition expenses by eliminating the need for a separate reply envelope in your mailings - they simply reverse. You save on operating costs, cut warehousing needs and reduce waste: benefits both you and your customers can appreciate.
If your company deals in high volumes and is ordering 500k or more, or requires envelope printing, it’s important to procure from a company that can responsibly deliver on your request, by considering the impact a high-volume order can have on the environment.
A small, but effective tip: by ensuring your mailing lists are up to date, you avoid sending out unnecessary letters, thus saving the paper, printing, and postage.
4. Web Hosting
Running all the servers in the US is equivalent to running five nuclear power plants. That’s a lot of environmental damage! Servers have to run at all times, so is your company’s website causing a consistent drain on environmental resources?
With green hosting, on the other hand, you can ensure that part of the energy comes from a renewable power source. Apart from being friendly to the environment, green web hosting is also affordable. The hosting company itself has already saved money by choosing to make its own energy. Thus, it passes the savings to its consumers, making green hosting a more affordable option than the traditional choice. For a similar cost, your company can help the environment while gaining the trust of your customers and keeping your business available online at all times.
Over 17 billion pounds of office furniture and equipment in the U.S. is sent to landfill every year. This waste - typically a result of necessary changes like moving, branch closures or refurbishing projects - poses a significant problem since the materials should not be going to landfill in the first place.
For example, a typical desk chair is made of dozens of different materials and chemicals. Since most furniture and equipment is also made of wood, metal and plastic and has a long lifetime, the products can be effectively re-purposed. These materials are also considered scarce resources and hazardous if not disposed of properly, meaning recycling or re-purposing should be the first option.
Ask yourself, ‘Does my office really need new furniture?’ Is there a way of updating or up-cycling the older pieces? It’s less expensive than buying new, and it’s better for the environment.
More and more businesses are embracing renewable energy in a big way as they begin to feel the impacts of the climate crisis where it matters most: their bottom lines. Many are finding that there’s an awful lot of green to be made in a renewable energy-powered economy.
Power your office with alternative energy which is generated from renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, geothermal, hydropower and plant matter.
As wind and solar energy achieve cost competitiveness with fossil fuels, addressing the climate crisis has become an economic imperative. Previously green energy incentives were only available to larger businesses, but now smaller businesses want in.
Green electricity sales in the form of voluntary power purchase agreements grew by 4% in 2015, notes the National Energy Renewable Laboratory. Contracted green power sales from those deals grew by 13% in 2015, it adds, and now total 10.2 million megawatt hours demonstrating the thirst for green energy to be available to all.
Whereas a traditional power purchase agreement, for example, might require a company to buy 100 megawatts and it would last 20 years, the contract now offered to the smaller businesses might be for 10 megawatts over 10 years.
7. Computers and Accessories
There are a few ways you can recycle your businesses’ old computers and computer accessories. First of all, when you buy a new replacement computer ask your vendor if they will take back (or even buy back) your old one. Companies like Dell and HP have asset recycling programs that do just this.
It also pays to check with your local office supplies store to see what they offer in terms of e-waste recycling programs. Find more information on Computer Recycling in the U.S. You might even be able to bag a tax deduction by donating computers which are less than five years old and still in decent working condition to organizations that will refurbish them.
Implement these smart tips to defend the planet and promote a safe, sustainable future. They might seem like small steps, but they go a long way to reduce your footprint on the environment, and makes a big impression to your customers and potential customers.
Is it easy being green?
These may seem like small, baby steps, but incremental changes go a long way in fighting the good fight on behalf of our planet. They are simple to implement, and can make a big impression on customers too. Maintaining momentum to provide the so-called ‘greener future’ can have far-reaching consequences, so it’s pivotal for businesses to assume responsibility and be held accountable in terms of global footprint and promoting a positive and sustainable future.
Wisconsin Public Service
Whether it's adjusting your thermostat or investing in energy-efficient equipment, you can be in control of how much electricity and natural gas your business uses. Reduce your energy use and costs by taking these simple and affordable steps.
Heating and cooling tips
- During the winter months, keep your thermostat between 65° and 70°. Dial your thermostat down when your business is closed.
- Install a programmable thermostat to automatically lower the temperature when you are closed, and raise it shortly before you open for business. Savings can be dramatic.
- Have your heating and air conditioning serviced prior to heating and cooling seasons. Your system may last years longer and your chances of a break-down will be reduced with regular maintenance.
- Open blinds or drapes to let the sun in on winter days. At night, close them to help hold heat in. In the summer, use curtains or drapes to prevent the summer heat from getting inside.
- Don't heat space you don't use. Close the vents and shut the doors to infrequently-used rooms and open them when you need them. By minimizing the space you heat, you can save significantly on heating bills.
- Warm air quickly rises out of your comfort zone. Direct your heating registers to blow horizontally across the floor instead of straight up.
- Use fans to help with air movement. Fans can make your business feel more comfortable and delay the need to turn up your furnace or air conditioning — saving energy. If you have ceiling fans, set them so you feel a breeze coming down (usually counterclockwise) in the summer. In the winter, reverse the fan's direction and operate it at a low speed to bring your warm, heated air down where you need it.
- Use weather-stripping and caulking wherever it is needed. This will keep the heat and cool air from leaving the building.
- Change or clean your furnace filter at least once per month. Clogged filters inhibit airflow and make your furnace work harder.
- Insulate your business following the proper building codes and guidelines. Proper insulation keeps the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
- If possible, plant trees around your business to provide shade in the summer.
Office equipment tips
Always buy ENERGY STAR® certified products for your business. The ENERGY STAR label will help you find the most energy-efficient computers, printers, copiers and other equipment.