2013 is almost upon us! Why not consider re-evaluating your office’s sustainability practices?
Going Green at work can have two major benefits for small businesses. The first, of course, is protecting the environment. The second benefit is a better business. More and more customers (and employees) are requesting “green” products and practices. By participating in eco-friendly business activities, your company will be more marketable and you will have lower operating costs. Here are few quick tips on how to green-up your small business:
- Go paperless. In today’s age of technology, it’s easy to use less and less paper. Your customers can do anything and everything over your website. Give them the opportunity to pay on-line. Switch all of your employee communication over to e-mail blasts instead of bulletins. When it’s inevitable to use paper, print on both sides and be sure to use recycled paper. Also, opt for shredded paper when shipping packages.
- Buy sustainable business supplies and unplug. Environmental products are not hard to find anymore. Change out your old light bulbs for energy efficient ones. Purchase recycled binders and pencils. Don’t be afraid to look at office furniture from a second-hand store. Program your computers to use energy save mode. If you only use your printers and scanners occasionally, only plug them in when needed.
- Encourage your employees and customers to be green. Offer your customers some kind of discount if they bring in a reusable bag. Show them your commitment by sending them coupons and flyers over e-mail instead of snail mail. (E-mail over snail mail will save you money, too). Have recycling bins with easy accessibility. Encourage your employees to car pool or use public transportation to work. Promote bringing lunches in reusable containers. Use non-toxic pens and decorate your office with few live plants to create an environmental atmosphere.
- Recycle old electronics. When an electronic stops working, it usually has parts that still work and can be refurbished. Donating your old fax machine instead of throwing it away means it can be given new life instead of just sitting in a landfill. There are even businesses that you can sell your old electronics to. It’s easy to find a company nearby using the Internet.
There are a lot more ways you can turn your small business green, so don’t stop with just these tips. Also, give your employees the opportunity to suggest more ways for your company to be eco-friendly. Soon you will notice lower operating costs. You can also breathe a little easier knowing your business is doing what it can for the environment.