05/13/2013 05:25 pm ET Updated Jul 13, 2013

American Businesses Should Influence Less Energy Consumption

According to the International Energy Agency, in 2010, the Americas consumed 46.7 percent of total energy in the world. As the largest consumers of energy in the world, the American people need more education about green products and services. Businesses have a unique role in helping the public make quality choices that will benefit the greater good. Businesses operate with competitive advantage in mind, and of the competition, there are green practices that some use which can inspire others to incorporate and the public to adopt. Consider these three businesses that address common needs and how it can change American life.

Of reported Internet usage per household, 44 percent of Americans of all ages use computers at home. Other Internet use are reported at work, school, community and library centers, Internet cafes and other spaces as a part of daily life. Green web hosting is a good way to reduce your online carbon footprint. Aiso is certified as green for using 100 percent solar power to provide energy for its grids that keep websites running. The business boasts of servers that use 60 percent less energy and 50 percent less heat, an achievement that has spanned 14 years of operation.

When you think about it, Americans do a lot of printing. Whether casual or professional, informal or formal, items are printed by the tons daily. The EPA estimates that each year, Americans use about 71 million tons of paper and paperboard. Next Day Flyers is an online printing company that uses a variety of quality recycled paper to maintain eye-catching designs while remaining gentle on the environment. The company uses a solar powered facility and trains their staff on how to reduce waste.

Reducing toxins into the environment is essential, and so is reducing your exposure to toxins for items that you use daily on your person is equally essential. For Americans that use hair color, there can be significant risks taken to color hair. EcoColors takes a toxin free perspective on its hair coloring products. The company offers eco education classes and a permanent color product that is without parabens, animal testing, mineral oils, gluten and EDTA, to name a few.

There are many other ways Americans can learn to purchase green that go beyond the scope of commercial consumption. Businesses have a responsibility to keep the pressure on the public with more green choices and the public has a responsibility to challenge businesses to think what is good for all living things.

America, we have work to do.