Archive for March, 2010

Your Carbon Footprint

March 25, 2010

When you are a teenager one of the greatest feelings is being able to drive. Getting in that vehicle and just going anywhere and everywhere, although, we have taken advantage of this liberty. Just hopping in the car and going for such short distances, to grocery store, to a friend’s house, to the pub?? I might just be the biggest culprit, living not only 3 km from work and less than 10 km to the grocery store and my closest friend’s house. I’ve started thinking how am I personally and professionally able to reduce my carbon footprint in this world. From turning off the lights when not in the room, or while watching T.V., using the recycling programs, washing my clothes with cold water, hanging them to dry and starting now walking to work. The question is what can you do while at work? Well obviously turning off your computer an hour early is not an option so how about we try some of these cost-effective ways:

  1. Use smaller fonts – using smaller fonts will actually save reams of paper per week. Other saving paper tricks are double-sided printing and using electronic copies rather than hard copies. Not only are you savings paper costs you are saving printing costs and trash hauling costs.
  2. Eco Friendly Products – By using these specialty products we are making a conscious effort of what we are putting back out into our waters and environment. The average office is cleaned about once a week, four times a month. Each time products are used with little thought of what they’re made of and what companies are washing down the drain.
  3. Switching offOne of the most notorious office habits is leaving your PC running – now times this by the millions of companies and times that by how many computers each company has! Simply switching your PC off can prevent an extra 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gases each year. Contrary to popular myth, this practice of turning your computer off doesn’t hurt, but if for some unknown reason you have a program running or have a deep-rooted aversion to turning your computer off, then just set it to sleep mode before you call it a day.
  4. Rooftop Gardens – that doesn’t work was my first thoughts!! This is a new concept to me but if you think about it having vegetation, even something as simple as grass on a rooftop not only reduces heating and cooling costs, it also helps combat higher temperatures associated with urban environments. What about reducing waste? Since these roofs last decades longer than traditional roofs you are not only reducing cost to dump old materials in the landfill but also re-roofing costs. If you are wondering where this is being done, the Olympic Village in Vancouver, British Columbia has used this concept which will be used as residential, retail, commercial and public space after the Olympics, who knew?

Oh I can go on (just ask my co-workers). No but really check out these links to learn more about how you can reduce your footprint.

– H. Corbett

Creative Thinking

March 18, 2010

An interviewer presented a thought provoking scenerio to an applicant to determine how creatively he could think.  The scenerio described is as follows: one stormy night you are driving by a bus stop and notice three people; one is an elderly woman who appears to be in need of medical attention; the second is a good friend who once saved your life; and the third is a beautiful woman (or man) you believe could be the love of your life.  But here is the dilema, you are driving a sport’s car and only have room for one passenger.  To whom do you offer a ride?

Theoretically, there is no right or wrong answer.  But the answer which showed the best out of the box thinking was the applicant who came up with the solution to give the car keys to the old friend to drive the elderly woman to the hospital, and then he took the bus with the person believed to be his potential soul mate.  Someone who came up with that answer in the interview really covered all the bases morally and ethically as well as showing imaginative thinking, and got the job.

Why would a prospective employer want an employee to think creatively?  Because thinking creatively requires the ability to imagine something new and different along with an attitude of willingness to look in new directions and see possibiliies instead of obstacles.  We know in these difficult economic times that many of our traditional jobs, especially in the manufacturing sector, have been lost to economies that can produce goods for considerably less due to their lower labor and operational costs and sometimes lucrative government incentives.

Working for a manufacturer we are always searching for new applications for our non-woven textiles.

Whether considering new directions individually or in groups, we need to listen carefully to our customers as to how best we can assist with improving their products and processes.  Our long term sustainability requires we all strive to think creatively.

– S. Johnson

2010 Winter Olympics

March 10, 2010

Now that the 2010 Winter Olympics are over, we can be very proud of our North America athletes. Between Canada and the United States, combined they received 63 metals in total which represented 24.4% of all available metals at the games held in Vancouver. Plus both countries attained 23 Gold metals out of the 86 different events held. Our athletes prepared hard for these games, and sacrificed a lot of time and potential income to be part of this historical event. The results of these winter games have shown that North America is still a strong area of the world, and the business world should follow the lead of this great performance. Support within this great area to grow our combined economies can benefit from the example these athletes have shown us. Always remember to work hard, push it to the limits and sacrifice, making coming out on top much easier but don’t despair if we cannot succeed in every sector. Be proud that you gave it your all and keep going for gold. If we stop we will be falling behind as almost certain the rest of the world will surpass us. We must not forget our Paralympics athletes; they will be starting their quest for Gold on March 12th, 2010.

Good Luck to all!

– N. Chappell

Tools of the Trade

March 1, 2010

Tools of the Trade

As an outside Salesperson there are a few things that I could not live without on the road. The first thing would be my almighty Blackberry. If this devise turned up missing, it would be like misplacing my thumb. Along with e-mails, internet and Brickbreaker, my Blackberry gives me something to be conveniently engrossed in. It allows me to avoid uncomfortable conversations with strangers in airports. Not everyone wants to hear surgery stories at 5:45 AM. GPS is another wonderful, wonderful invention for the traveling Salesperson.  It allows me to visit customers more efficiently and with little stress. I can also find any Waffle House, Barnes and Noble and In-and-Out Burger in a 100 mile radius (all are very important). The GPS will NOT tell you where the bad neighborhoods are, if you are on the right bridge in Pittsburgh, or if the cops are behind you. My IPod is indispensable now that most rental cars have an auxiliary input. I crank up some Zeppelin, Traffic or Cream and the miles melt away. I can also look at pictures of my dogs if I am feeling homesick. Along with the previously mentioned hardware, my rental car is stuffed with literature, samples and lots and lots of Coffee cups. I much prefer to meet my customers face to face than by e-mail or telephone. I would like to get back to the days of eye contact and a handshake. Armed with these items I will be visiting an extrusion plant near you.

– Nick Rossi
Lewiston office