Prioritizing the planet: How can businesses in Augusta County enhance their green credentials?
In just two years, Refill Renew has helped its customers prevent 23,000 plastic bottles from ending up in the Augusta County regional landfill. The stores in Charlottesville and Staunton enable customers to restock washroom supplies by filling empty plastic containers. But you don’t have to have a specific eco-friendly product or initiative to boost your company’s green credentials. There are many things you can do to make your business even more eco-friendly. After all, becoming more eco-friendly is good for the planet and your business. It can reduce costs and 90% of customers will switch brands if it means supporting an environmentally friendly business.
Improve your water efficiency
Water efficiency is just as important as energy efficiency for both Augusta County and the global ecosystem. While businesses are responsible for over 25% of the water used in metropolitan areas, an easy way to start saving water is by identifying and fixing any leaks. A water leak can waste up to 10,000 gallons of water a year, so it’s well worth checking. Eco-friendly cleaning practices such as using brushes, squeegees, and hoses can help reduce cleaning time and reduce the amount of water required while also creating a more hygienic environment. If your business depends on water, consider installing low-flow water valves to help conserve how much water you use.
Introduce recycling initiatives
Recycling is a key way to boost your green credentials and reduce the amount of waste being sent to the county landfill. If you are a local retailer, consider selling branded reusable products such as coffee cups and shopping bags. If your business is office-based, ensure you have plenty of clearly marked recycling and composting bins available and promote the best eco-friendly practices within your team. You can also encourage your employees to use reusable lunch packaging or consider giving them branded lunch boxes they can reuse time and again. The key is to make it as easy as possible for your employees and customers to reuse and recycle.
Encourage staff to green up their commute
Traveling to and from work every day has a huge impact on the amount of carbon dioxide released into our environment. However, you can reduce the number of cars on the road significantly by encouraging your employees to take more eco-friendly transport to work such as walking, carpooling, public transit, or even working from home. Cycling has become increasingly popular in Augusta County so consider creating a cycle to work scheme that gives employees discounts on cycles and equipment to encourage them to switch to two wheels. Not only will it help the planet but it will help your staff become healthier too.
There are so many benefits to making your local business more eco-friendly. While it undoubtedly has huge benefits for the planet, it’s also a great way to show your employees and customers that you care about them. Improving water efficiency, introducing recycling initiatives, and incentivizing employees to have a greener commute are all simple yet effective ways to boost your business’s green credentials.
Story by Lorraine Watson