Guest Author - Deborah Crawford
Have you considered the impact your small or home office has on the environment? Many small and home business owners are kept pretty busy just running their business and rarely take time to consider the carbon footprint of their businesses. However, going green is gaining in popularity and it is easier than ever to incorporate good environmental policies into your business.
For several reasons, promoting green practices at work can be helpful to your business success. For one, you can immediately save money. For another, you can promote your business as being green, and for another, you get to know that you are doing your part. Here are some simple ways your business can practice being environmentally friendly.
1—Be aware of consumption and make it a goal to consume less. Set a concrete goal to reduce utility bills by 2% or office supply expenses by 15% for example.
2—Write a company green policy. Distribute to employees and customers. Post it on your website, too.
3—Turn off lights, computers and appliances when not in use. When buying new appliances, look for Energy Star models.
4—Drive less. Make fewer trips for errands, shopping and deliveries. Learn how to make your vehicles more energy efficient. Ride a bike or walk or take public transportation. Support carpooling.
5—Buy recycled when possible. Toner cartridges, paper goods, plastics and more are available recycled now. Recycle as much as you can and help customers recycle, too.
6—Conservation is an old but still effective practice. Use less of everything, particularly natural resources.
7—Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. They use less energy and last longer, too.
8—Donate unused books, ink pens, cell phones, computers and other supplies to schools, charity stores, libraries or nursing homes.
9—Reuse misprints as scratch paper and/or shred for packing materials. Print on both sides of your paper. Go paperless, and save files electronically instead of printing.
10—Support vendors who have green policies in place. From your bank to your office supply company to your shipping company, everyone can do something to help. Ask and find out who has good practices and give those companies your business.
And, 11—Plant trees. This one is a bonus. Start a tree-planting promotion at your business, or a tree planting initiative in your community. You can probably get some small trees or saplings donated, but if not, they are fairly inexpensive. Give a tree as a free gift with purchase or organize a tree-planting day. Prepare an educational program or brochure to teach your community the importance of going green. Use this initiative to promote your company’s new green policy and you can make an impact and a difference to the environment and to your bottom line. Quite simply, green is good for business.
To learn more about bringing green practices to your workplace, I recommend
Lean and Green: Profit for Your Workplace and the Environment