In recent years, environmental concerns have become greater than ever. Lots of us are recycling at home, but many businesses still believe that going green is difficult and requires a lot of hard work. In reality, there are several simple ways that businesses can go green and reduce their impact on the environment – as well as reducing their outgoings, since going green is all about minimising waste.
By simply turning off computers, printers, lights, and equipment at the end of the business day or when not in use, you can instantly make a positive impact on your company’s carbon footprint. Instead of using screen savers, program monitors to turn off when not in use. Other items like mobile phone chargers should be unplugged when not in use, as they use energy even when they are not charging devices. Adjusting the thermostat by a degree or two saves a lot of energy, and most people won’t feel the difference of being a few degrees cooler in the winter or warmer in the summer.
Investing in energy-efficient electronics, appliances, and light bulbs will also conserve energy. Providing your business with these energy-efficient products will mean an initial investment, but in many cases, the equipment will pay for itself after a while with the savings it provides, and in some cases, they may also make business-owners eligible for tax cuts.
Reducing waste is another easy method of making your business greener. Making use of biodegradable packaging along with recycled and recyclable materials reduces waste dramatically. Your business may be able to recycle everything from paper to hazardous waste. Instead of taking notes or writing schedules on paper, transition to doing as much paperwork as possible digitally. Sending memos out via email instead of on paper will lead to less wasted paper. Storing important documents digitally reduces waste and makes it easier to stay organized. To avoid wasted water, check taps regularly for leaks, and fix them right away.
When shopping for supplies or equipment, look for brands and companies that are dedicated to having a low carbon footprint and providing environmentally-friendly products. Greener options are available for everything from office supplies like pens and ink cartridges to equipment and furniture like banner stands, shelving, and work stations. By implementing a green purchasing policy and only shopping with other companies that are dedicated to reducing their impact on the environment, you can be sure that your purchases will not contribute to environmental damage caused by other businesses.
Encourage your employees to reduce their carbon footprint as well. Some businesses now offer perks to employees who choose to carpool to work or use public transportation. Simple initiatives to encourage employees to go green while at work can lead to a large decrease your business’ impact on the environment.
Whether your business is large or small, going green and reducing its impact on the environment does not have to be difficult. With a few simple changes, you can greatly reduce your business’ carbon footprint. In addition to saving the environment, many of these changes will reduce spending and lead to increased profits.
Liberty-Belle Howard is a UK blogger with a keen interest in green issues. She’s currently blogging on behalf of Marler Haley.
Image via London Permaculture