5 ways to go green in your small business
Our earth is undergoing rapid environmental change. Temperatures are fluctuating all around the globe, sea levels are rising, and the future is looking bleak for many coastal cities. While these facts are dispiriting, the worst part of it is that humans are largely responsible. Since the industrial revolution, technology has advanced at an exponential rate; by charging wildly into the future, we’ve potentially compromised the health of our planet.
Still, it’s possible to slow these events. By realizing that it’s a moral imperative to make your small business go green, you create opportunities not only to help the planet but to potentially streamline operations and cut down costs. Many people hold the mistaken belief that going green means higher expenses. However, the opposite is frequently true.
There are many simple changes and green products that you can opt for that will improve your small business’ carbon footprint. Check out the following ways you can take some very important steps in a green direction.
Stop Using So Much Paper
Paper products account for almost 25% of all landfill waste. That’s a massive amount, and much of it is produced by small businesses unnecessarily printing documents. Consider this: greenhouse gasses are responsible for trapping solar heat and warming the earth, and if the United States alone cut paper use by merely 10%, we would eliminate 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gasses from the environment.
Next time you’re thinking about printing out a long report that someone will briefly skim before throwing away, consider sending it as a PDF or in another digital form that eliminates the need for paper.
Use Energy Efficient Appliances
The government service Energy Star identifies efficient appliances that you can use around your office to cut energy use and costs. As technology improves, it’s becoming harder for manufacturers to get away with making inefficient products, which has made it easier for your small business to go green.
If you use products that receive the Energy Star seal of approval, it’s also possible to advertise to your clients that your company is green. Customers are more attracted to businesses that are environmentally minded, and this change can help reduce your carbon footprint while also attracting business.
“Green Check” Your Business
Take a look around your office for daily items that are not environmentally friendly. Instead of buying single-use cups for the water station, switch to reusable water bottles or coffee mugs. When you’ve finished an ink cartridge in your printer, recycle it instead of throwing it away. Get rid of old, inefficient company computers and trade in laptop options for newer machines that have improved energy settings. Switch your bulbs to compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) which last longer and are much better for the environment.
Green Cleaning Products
Many commercial cleaning products are made with toxic chemicals that are bad for the environment when they’re produced, and double their harm when they’re sprayed across your business’ boardroom. There are plenty of products that are time-tested which can be used in lieu of these harmful options. Many green businesses will offer promo codes that entice customers to use their products, and it’s possible to get them for cheap.
Another benefit of sustainable cleaning products is that because they aren’t crafted with toxic chemicals, they often smell better and leave your office with a more refreshing atmosphere.
Of all the ways we harm the environment, food waste is one of the worst. Companies generate a massive mountain of food waste every single day. Employees go out to lunch, sometimes they eat breakfast at the office, and at the end of the day there’s a pile of uneaten food in the trash that was inevitably wasted. Composting is the way for your small business to stop this cycle.
When businesses get into composting they often find it addictive. Figuring out the perfect way to start composting at your office can be a fun DIY project that brings employees together.
Taking simple environmentally-friendly steps like these are important; not only for the future of your business but also for the future of our planet. Every company that makes the switch brings us closer to improving the bleak state of environmental affairs.