More than green

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Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company has become more environmentally conscious and has found more benefits in its practices than just protecting the environment.

The Galax and Elkin, N.C.-based company that is the largest manufacturer of wooden adult bedroom furniture became certified in the program called Enhancing Furniture's Environmental Culture.

The program requires all employees to work together towards their “go-green” goal. The company has found that it’s crucial to set an example to be a good steward of the environment, for obvious reasons.

Through the environmental culture program, Vaughan-Bassett employees have implemented environmental-friendly efforts into daily practices. The result reduced solid waste by 15 percent, liquid waste by 25 percent and electricity consumption by 5 percent. Air leaks were repaired, lower-wattage bulbs will be used and the temperature setting for heating water was reduced.

Vaughan-Bassett cited significant benefits, such as cost savings that come with protecting the environment.For example, the company bought a veneer grinder to reduce the 328 tons of waste that is put into the regional landfill each year. The savings amounts to $16,400 in landfill tipping fees.

The ground veneer could be recycled into coal, at a cost savings of $22,995, plus $3,068 saved in diesel fuel costs. All of those savings add up.

Vaughan-Bassett should be commended for its go-green leadership efforts. If more companies and residents followed that lead through such small tasks of turning lights off each time we leave a room, we could probably find some cost-saving benefits of our own during today's economic downturn.