Going green is one of the best things that you can do for the environment—and for your business. Not only does going green give you and your company positive PR by showing your commitment to recycling and energy-saving habits, but it also gives you a reason to talk about your company and market it in an extremely consumer-friendly way. So jump on the green bandwagon, entrepreneurs. Here are 10 ways that you and your business can go green and make a difference toward protecting the environment and saving the world.
1. Be Smart About Paper
Paper is one of the most wasted products on Earth. If your business gets "smart with paper", it will already start off with a green initiative. There are many ways to get smart about your company's paper use:
• Recycle, recycle, recycle!
• Use smaller font
• Utilize double-sided printing
• Use electronic files instead of printed hardcopies
• Encourage communication via e-mail instead of memos
• Reduce your fax-related paper waste by using a fax modem and fax cover sheet only when necessary
• Find a supply of paper with maximum available recycled content
2. Turn Stuff Off
One of the easiest ways to go green is by turning off equipment and electronics when they are not in use. When you turn off the lights, it can reduce the energy used by 25 percent and 50 percent when you turn off your computer at the end of the day (this can prevent an extra 1,000 pounds of greenhouse gases a year!). Be sure to shut off the lights at the end of the day or when you leave the room for more than ten minutes and to turn off all of your electronics when you leave the office.
3. Implement a Rooftop Garden
If you're an urban business, you may want to invest in a green rooftop garden. Simply planting vegetation (even something as simple as grass on a rooftop) not only reduces heating and cooling costs, but it also helps combat higher temperatures that are often associated with such urban environments.
Just as it is critical to recycle paper, it is also important to recycle other materials that are found around the office—water bottles, pop cans, glass bottles, etc. To continue in your efforts of going green, set up different types of receptacles for recycling—trash, paper, plastics, metals, and glass.
5. Use Eco-friendly Cleaning
One of the best ways to go green is to use green products—including cleaning products. The average office is cleaned about once a week, or four times a month. Simply opting to go with using environmentally-friendly cleaning products, companies can do a big part in conservation.
6. Utilize Solar Energy
Depending on the size of your business, you may want to look into solar energy panels as an alternative means of energy. Although they are expensive to set up, solar energy panels are actually a favorable system for larger companies who are looking for long-term savings.
7. Use Portable Air Conditioners
Central cooling may be great in the heat of the summer, but portable air conditioners are a great way to save cooling cost. It has been found that the average office spends about $3,000 per month on cooling. It may be wise to switch to one portable air conditioner per room—it helps the environment and your pocket!
8. Turn Off Water
Did you know that one drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 liters per year? So don't leave the taps dripping—always close them tightly after use.
9. Refurbish Furniture
If you're looking into buying new office furniture, you may want to first check and see if your existing furniture can be refurbished. Refurbishing furniture is extremely cheap and it helps companies do their part in not wasting resources.
10. Choose the Right Suppliers
Choose suppliers who are not too far away from your business—the further your supplies or service providers have to travel, the more energy will be used to get them to you. Some suppliers even take back packaging for reuse, so it is wise to look into these companies.
There are so many ways to help you and your business go green, and most of the ways take no more than a small effort each day. Do your part in giving back to the environment and help your company go green!