10 Tips For Businesses to Go Green
Posted by Norman Fong
Going Green. Over the past few years you’ve seen this expression pop up more and more. People, products, and businesses are continuously declaring that they’re “going green”. Even our government is offering tax breaks and incentives for eco-friendly products and businesses. As small business owner, you want to contribute to the eco-movement. But you have hesitations. Maybe you think it’s too time consuming to go green. Maybe it’s on your list of things to do, but you’re not sure exactly where to start or what you can do. And more importantly, you want to turn a profit quickly and you don’t want to risk financial loss. Well in this article you will see that not only is it easier than you think to go green, but it’s also beneficial on your bottom line as well.
Here are ten easy tips to make your business more eco friendly:
- Recycle bins
Place small recycling bins throughout the office to encourage employees to recycle. Standard blue recycle bins typically cost $5.00. You can use any bin from your local store. As long as your employees know which bin is for recycling, integrating this policy into the workday should be seamless. On garbage day when you go around collecting the trash, collect the bins and dump the recyclables into the one blue recycle bin.
Many cities have a free recycling program in which the city comes around and collects the items for free. However in some towns there is a monthly fee of $5.00 to participate in recycling pick up. You can find out if your town offers free pick up here.
2. Kraft paper packaging
If you’re a business who sells products, then we encourage you to use Kraft paper products. Kraft paper is made from 100% recycled materials and will decompose in the landfills, not like the plastic or Styrofoam containers.
3. Lighting-energy efficient bubs
This is an oldie but a goodie. If your business is still running off regular watt light bulbs not only are you hurting the planet, you’re hurting your bank account. According to the EPA, “One ENERGY STAR® qualified light bulb saves $70 a year on energy bills.”
4. Food business- buy local
This is important for the small restaurant businesses. When you buy your ingredients local it not only helps the planet but it stimulates your local economy. When you buy from a local farmer, you are reducing the amount of fuel consumption used to transport the ingredients to your local mega store. Also locally grown food is typically fresher and has fewer additives. That equals happier and healthier customers who will be more likely to come back for more.
5. Make sure appliances are green
When it is time to buy new appliances, make sure that they are ENERGY STAR certified. Since most utility companies in the US offer incentives for ENERGY STAR equipment, it will help you cut cost. Many products even qualify for tax credits. Check out how much ENERGY STAR products can save you.
6. Sign up for direct deposit- less printed checks
Making employees sign up for direct deposit has a number of benefits. One it will reduce the amount of paper the bank uses to product the checks. Two it reduces the risk of check fraud. Three, it reduces the time spent on book keeping, since there is no risk of replacing lost checks.
7. Internet coupons/promos
Creating online promotions reduces the amount of paper that goes to waste when printed coupons are just thrown away or worse, littered on the ground. Offer customers exclusive online coupons via your website or email. If you don’t have a website, offer it on your social media accounts. You’re likely to reach more people this way, plus you’ll improve customer service in that customers don’t have to remember to bring in their physical coupons.
8. Provide employees with glassware/coffee mugs (NO Styrofoam cups)
If you’re like most Americans then your morning doesn’t being unless you’ve had your morning cup of joe. Provide employees with glassware and coffee mugs instead of Styrofoam ones. They can reuse these over and over, reducing the amount of trash your business produces. It will also help your budget because you’ll be removing the expense of constantly replacing cups. (It’s the little things that add up over time.)
9. Install water filters instead of buying bottled water or gallon jugs
Stop buying bottled water! Instead attach a water filter like a Brita or PUR to your sink. If you have a refrigerator in your office fill up a pitcher to keep it cool. This will reduce the amount of plastic bottles.
10. Closing up- unplug equipment
Last but not least unplug, unplug, unplug. Nothing wastes energy like a lamp plugged in all night long or a running fan. While you’re closing up shop take a walk around and unplug the things that aren’t essential. Things like lamps, fans and coffee makers still use energy even when they are not running. So make sure you unplug these energy sucking appliances as a part of your lock up routine.
As you can clearly see, being more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a massive and overwhelming project. Making small changes to your daily routine will get your small business on the right track to going green. Encourage employees to take part in your new green initiative since this is a team effort. Remember every little bit counts when trying to reduce your carbon foot print.
Nicolina Cabezal is the Marketing Manager at JAM Paper & Envelope, a paper goods retail company based in NYC & NJ. As a professional in the paper industry many of her blog post deal with paper and the impact it has on our planet. Check out the JAM Paper blog here for more tips & advice one of nature’s most renewable resources.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to subscribe to our RSS feed.