When it comes to small businesses, many companies may have the desire to do right by the planet, but many times they feel they are not capable of doing so because it is far too big of a task. This couldn’t be further from the truth. As a small business or even a large corporation, you can actually do big things to help the planet by barely doing anything at all. Solar water heating, HVAC systems and wind turbines aside, here are a few simple tips to get you started toward a more sustainable business.
First and foremost, reduce, reuse and recycle, are three terms your small business should live by if you are interested in becoming a more eco-friendly organization.
- Reduce: Reducing your amount of waste is a great way of helping the environment. Using a computer and switching from print or direct mailing to email and digital collateral can be a great way of reducing the amount of paper and ink you use.
- Reuse: Instead of throwing things away, why not try to find other ways of utilizing them. For example, the handy note tablets that you write any and everything on. Rather than throwing out the table once all of the front pages are filled, use both sides of the paper.
- Recycle: Many of the materials your company uses everyday are made out of material that can be recycled, but because business waste management services can be so expensive, many companies choose not to use them. If this is the case, try to network with other local businesses and purchase the service in conjunction with them. This way you will be splitting the costs between multiple companies and networking at the same time.
Once your company has the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) set in motion, the next step is to make an effort to convert to more environmentally friendly office supplies and practices. Both large and small supply stores now carry many green, natural and organic products such as recyclable paper, CFL or LED light bulbs, natural base cleaners and low VOC paints, just to name a few. In addition to purchasing more eco-friendly products, analyze your current practices to see if you are making all efforts possible to reduce harm to the earth. Turning off lights when no one is in the room, shutting down power strips at the end of the day and refilling ink cartridges instead of buying new ones are a few ways to get started. Think about these things on a large scale. When purchasing supplies and changing your attitude it may seem insignificant to your company at first, but the effects can be greatly rewarding in the long run.
You have started following the three R’s, converted to eco-friendly office supplies and practices and you feel you are on your way to a more sustainable business. Finally, for all of the things you simply can’t control, such as daily commute, business traveling, electricity consumption and more, you can offset their carbon footprint. Services such as Terrapass, Carbon Footprint and Carbon Fund have great tools to calculate your business’ carbon emissions. Once calculated, they will offer you tailored solutions to aide your company in becoming carbon neutral.
Running a green business is not only good for the environment, but it is also a benefit for your bottom line. Whether your company’s goal is to become a 100% sustainable business or to moderately practice environmental stewardship, taking action is the first step. In the end, doing your part to save the planet may also be saving your company some real green!
Nicole Rivera is the Marketing Coordinator for BizCentral USA. BizCentral USA is the nation’s leading business resource center for small, start-up and medium sized businesses. Serving as a “one-stop-shop” for small business solutions, BizCentral USA offers an array of services including business plan development, graphic design, marketing, bookkeeping, translation, web development and more. Their mission is to provide products, services, and small business solutions to startup through mid-size companies, helping them start and grow their business. For more information please visit http://www.bizcentralusa.com.