Cam-A-Lot Rentals has taken the decision to actively work on lessening our impact on the planet, we are going “green”. Our company has always played its part in community upliftment and development. We are always looking for more ways to have a positive impact. While reviewing the business, we identified room for improving some environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and practices. So, we have started to tackle the issues of energy, recycling, and waste.
The dream of a paperless office has long been an aspiration for many businesses. We are using a huge amount of paper and toner. If we can cut down our paper usage it will save us money and be better for the earth. This is an area we have identified as a priority in this initiative as we believe the benefits will be well worth the effort. Most of our paper gets consumed through the Equipment Checklist process we currently use. As a result, we are having custom software built to complete overhaul the current process. We have a developer creating a new way for us to handle this essential task. This will cut our paper consumption dramatically which is good news for us and the environment.
Did you know: Paper pulp mills contribute to air, water and land pollution. Discarded paper accounts for about 35% (by weight) of many rubbish dump sites. Even paper recycling can be a source of pollution due to the sludge produced during de-inking.
Our industry uses a lot of disposable batteries. Quite a lot of the audio equipment we use is powered by AA batteries. At a certain level these get thrown out even if they are not completely exhausted. An AA battery can take over 100 years to decompose its outer casing at which point it leaches chemicals into the earth. We really want to keep these out of our rubbish dumps. We have found an individual who has a use for our old batteries. The batteries with no power left in them are recycled, and those with some remaining charge are repurposed. This means we generate less wastage and batteries are being used to their full potential. We are also using rechargeable batteries in the equipment that is able to utilise them.
Over 750 used AA batteries in an audio booth
Did you know: The chemicals inside a battery can include cadmium, lead, mercury, nickel, lithium and electrolytes. The listed chemicals are identified as being; toxic, carcinogenic and volatile. These pollutants are being leach into the air, land and water supply from discarded batteries.
Electronic equipment should be recycled whenever possible. Broadcast equipment does not have the longevity it once did. There are always newer models and the gear is not made to last as it once was. The advantage we have when upgrading equipment is that the “newer stuff” tends to be ever better performing in its power consumption and efficiency. We collect the equipment which no longer works and have it recycled as “e-waste”. Some components can be repurposed and harmful chemicals are correctly disposed of this way.
Did you know: The e-Waste Association of South Africa (EWASA) website lists locations in South Africa where you can find recycling centres dealing specifically with electronic waste.
Cam-A-Lot has recently moved to a new premises. What used to be a family home is now the new home of Cam-A-Lot Rentals. This process required quite substantial renovations. It also created the opportunity to install energy efficient and LED lighting throughout the property. I used to be a sceptical of the claimed benefits and savings. I have however been utterly converted. It is very easy to calculate the wattage being consumed by the old lightbulbs and compare it to the low wattage of the energy efficient lamps. The difference is simply staggering and well worth the effort. The renovations also allowed us to change the toilet flushing mechanism to dual flush water conservation toilets.
Did you know: An LED light can use as little as 1/30th of the electricity of their incandescent counterparts. They further add to savings by lasting longer, running cooler and are mercury free.
Moving Forward we have identified other areas we would like to implement green strategies. A large portion of the cameras and equipment we use run on battery power. So, we have quite a large charging station for all shapes and sizes of battery. This is something we would like to run off renewable energy. Installing solar panels could provide all the energy we need for this aspect of our operation. It would be very exciting to have “off grid power” to power all our batteries. We are looking into how we can make this possible.
Did you know: Every hour the sun beams onto Earth more than enough energy to satisfy global energy needs for an entire year. They way to harness that energy is solar power, currently the technology produces less than one tenth of one percent of global energy demand.