Environment consciousness and the drive to “go green” is a trend that has left its footprint across countless industries causing entire businesses to transform their operations. The small business owner who wants to run a successful operation cannot afford to overlook this trend. But the reality is that many small businesses have limited resources to invest in things like renewable energy sources, environmental business consultants, or biodegradable packaging.
So what can a small business do to be more environmentally friendly without making a huge investment of time or money? Actually, quite a lot. Here are a few simple ways to make your small business more environmentally friendly
- Reduce energy consumption. Turn off computers and lights when not in use. Use natural lighting where possible. Switch to energy-efficient bulbs. You can also make your air conditioning and heating units run more efficiently by putting them on a time switch, cleaning and replacing the air filter, and giving them a tune-up by a qualified technician.
- Look for equipment that has energy-saving or waste reducing features. When it is time to bring in new equipment look for energy-saving and eco-friendly features that can reduce costs by operating more efficiently while making little or no environmental impact.
- Rent or lease equipment instead of buying. Consider leasing copiers, computers, and other equipment from manufacturers who will be able to properly recycle and dispose of their goods at the end of their life cycle. Consider renting equipment that is used only occasionally or buy it second-hand.
- Look to reduce and recycle waste. Set up a system that will cut back on paper, such as photocopying on both sides of the paper, using the blank side of printed material as well as outdated forms and letterheads for in-house memos and drafts, and e-mailing reports instead of printing them out.
- Make your workplace environment greener. Adding plants, such as spider plants and peace lilies, to your workplace will filter out the pollutants in the air. Bring in calming, natural scents, such as lavender. You can also use natural and biodegradable cleaning products, such as vinegar, baking soda, and borax.
In short, there are many ways to be more environmentally friendly and efficient, to “go green,” without going away from what you do best- running a small business.