Green Ideas for Making Your Business Environmentally Friendly
Last year, global climate leaders presented ambitious new plans and actions to confront the climate crisis. In the meantime, people everywhere have seen the extent of the crisis, and many are trying to contribute to the solution in at least some small ways.
Consumers have largely turned to companies that are running their operations in an eco-friendly manner. Governments, too, are willing to offer subsidies and tax breaks to green businesses. Needless to say, green practices alone are usually cost-effective.
All of this makes a sum of good financial decisions, but the most important benefit of going green is contributing to the preservation of our planet. With that in mind, here are some ideas for making your business environmentally friendly.
Ditch Single-use Items
Each year, we throw away 150 million tons of single-use items such as plastic bottles, straws, cups, and wrappers. Most offices use these items regularly, especially if they have coffee or water machines. Fortunately, you can easily replace these with reusable counterparts.
To make your employees more enthusiastic about this change, you can design personalized mugs and glasses for everyone. If you own a service business, such as a coffee shop or a fast-food restaurant, it will be more difficult to do this, but not impossible. You can always restrict single-use items to deliveries only.
Reduce Fuel Emissions
Daily commutes to and from work release a large amount of carbon dioxide into the air. While your employees have the right to choose how to commute, you can incentivize them to carpool or use public transport. You can give incentives for those arriving at work riding their bikes and install a bike rack in front of the premises to make it more convenient for them.
If your business operations entail driving around a large property (such as an indoor or outdoor warehouse, for example), you can use energy-efficient electric golf carts, which are convenient and affordable.
Finally, consider offering remote work for at least a couple of days a week where possible. Some of your employees are probably not essential in the office, and they can perform their tasks just as effectively from a home office.
Be Smart About Your Energy Use
Small businesses in the U. S. spend more than $60 billion annually on energy costs. This, obviously, takes a toll on a company’s budget and leaves consequences on the environment. Here are some steps you can take in your company right now to reduce your bills and help our planet:
- Increase the amount of natural light inside the offices.
- Replace incandescent bulbs with LED lighting.
- Invest in energy-efficient appliances (e.g., printers, microwaves, air-conditioning devices, etc.).
- Install timers on lights so that they don’t keep on running when someone forgets to turn them off.
- Unplug electronics when you leave the premises.
Between documents, notes, contracts, invoices, and others, paper is being consumed in offices on a great scale. This is not something we often think about, but the life cycle of paper is worrying. It starts with cutting down a tree and ends with being burned and sending carbon dioxide into the air. Why cause unnecessary harm when we’re living in the digital era?
It is now simple to go paperless or at least to cut down the use of paper to a minimum. If all the important documents and services are available in digital format, your employees won’t need to use the printer.
Recycle and Donate
Placing recycling bins throughout the office can encourage your employees to join the green practices of your business. Of course, some items, such as empty ink cartridges and old electronics, cannot be recycled on-site. They need to be shipped back to the manufacturer or a company that deals with recycling electronics. If the electronics you want to get rid of are still in working condition, you can donate them to charity, together with furniture and appliances.
Shop Green and Shop Locally
Every time you buy office supplies, you essentially contribute to a wrinkle on Mother Earth’s face. It’s a small one, perhaps, but still significant. At the same time, almost every office supply you need has a recycled counterpart.
There is, for example, recycled and recyclable paper. Just look for products with certifications of sustainability.
Another green clue for you – products that have less packaging are usually greener. However, even if you find the greenest product out there, if you are ordering it from far away, the transport will make up for the energy you saved by choosing eco-friendly. That’s why it’s important to try to get your products from local vendors. This decision not only prevents tons of carbon emissions from entering the atmosphere but also shows your support to local businesses and your dedication to your community.
Some Final Thoughts
Going green is not only a responsible thing to do considering the social and the environmental climate we live in. It is also a smart business move, considering the financial savings and the reputation your company can gain. Hopefully, these tips will show you the way.