Is your business thinking about going green?
Green business practices are good for the environment, and good for your bottom line!
A greener workplace reduces your impact on the planet and creates a healthier – and often more productive – place to work.
Many eco-friendly business practices are not only affordable, but save money to boot.
Marcos Cordero, CEO of the Green Business Bureau, says, “Simply change behavior that results in excessive waste. Start small and build sustainability that will pay for itself.”
Top 10 Green Business Practices
Some of these green business tips were offered by readers of my blog post, Freelancing is the New Green. Check these easy and affordable tips for going green to see which you can apply to your store, office, or home-based business.
Share a ride
Can you carpool or take public transit?
Even better – walk, ride a bike, or telecommute!
Power down at night
Are your cubicle walls enjoying your screensaver show all night? Running the screensaver takes about the same amount of energy as other routine tasks – meaning many computers waste twice as much energy idling as working!
Save thousands of watts per year by shutting down at the workday’s end.
Save time, save money, save gas (if you drive to lunch), and eat healthier too – bring your lunch to work!
Go digital for documents
Think twice before printing! Digital documents and presentations can be quickly searched and accessed on the network. This saves on physical storage space, and potentially saves thousands of man hours per year of filing and retrieving documents.
Even if you manage to run a completely paperless office, you’ll still be getting paper from elsewhere. Set up convenient recycling bins to catch it before it hits the trash.
Turn off the lights
First – can you make use of free, healthy natural light by rearranging the workspace?
Next, consider energy-efficient task lighting, as it tends to use less energy than ceiling lights. Can you employ motion-sensor lights in some areas, like restrooms?
Finally, be sure to turn off lights when leaving at night.
Meet by messaging or teleconferencing
While some face-to-face meetings may be essential – teleconferencing is a great way to save travel time and expenses.
Your supply cabinet may house some of the most powerful toxins on the market – and in large quantities! Swap out harsh chemicals for non- or less-toxic equivalents. It’s better for your indoor air quality, better for the great outdoors!
Ban the bottled water
How often does the office water cooler get cleaned? That bottled water may not be as healthy as you think! Consider dumping the monthly fees and going with water filters instead.
Then encourage employees to bring reusable water bottles or cups to work, instead of wasting all those paper cups. Don’t forget mugs for coffee too! Either or both would make a great employee appreciation gift, too.
Close the loop! And buying recycled isn’t just about paper.
For real cost savings, check out refurbished printers, cartridges, computers, copiers, and furniture. Refurbished equipment is often sold with the same manufacturer’s warranties, and is virtually identical to new items.
You can see savings of 20-30% on refurbished, and 50% on used items. Being green with recycled or refurbished items saves you some green, keeps old items out of landfills, and conserves resources needed to manufacture new items.
What do you think of my top 10 green business ideas?
Are you already doing well with some of these, and see a couple more you might be able to implement?
If you have other green business tips, please share in the comments below. Then share this article to spread the word on green business practices!