Going green can save the planet and your business’s budget. A lot of the same things that can lessen your impact on the environment can also save you a large amount of money. But how do you know if it’s right for your business? And how do you even go about going green anyway?
We’re here to help answer these questions.
First, there is no prerequisite for going green. While there might be some things that may be slightly out of budget for a very small business, every business can lessen its carbon footprint by doing some of the following simple things:
Between printing receipts, purchase orders, invoices, reports, and work orders, a business can generate a lot of paper without even trying. Putting that all online not only helps save trees but also saves you a fair amount in printing costs.
The only really good way to go paperless is using software that gives you access to your documents anywhere or any device, but also keeps everything secure using the Cloud.
While vintage might be trendy, there is a reason that none of us carry indestructible Nokias anymore. Modern technology allows you to connect to others more easily and tends to be more eco-friendly than older technology. Save on resources and on power by using more efficient technology.
Rather than buying cheap, disposable equipment every month when it inevitably breaks down, pay once for quality appliances. They might be a little more expensive, but they will last much longer. You can even get tax credit for energy-efficient appliances.
Buying quality appliances doesn’t necessarily mean buying brand new equipment. Try buying refurbished equipment instead of wasting money and energy creating a brand new appliance.
Turn off your appliances when you’re not using them. Turn off lights when you’re not in the room. Recharge your own batteries by not using your technology so much and getting outside. Unplugging saves energy and gives your technology a bit of a break from constant use.
Driving a car releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that pollutes and damages the environment. Refilling your car all the time can also get pretty pricey. If you don’t live too far, you might consider walking or biking to work. If you commute, think about taking public transportation or at least carpooling with your coworkers to limit the car emissions.
One way to drive less is also to work remotely. Working from home can be pretty convenient and won’t harm the environment.
Consider where you get your electricity from – Some places offer carbon neutral electricity sources.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but recycling is one of the best, simplest things your business can do for the planet. Consider setting up specific recycling bins: paper, cans, and bottles. Depending on your business, you could also consider recycling glass, metal, wood, textiles, and electronics. You can also set aside organic materials for composting.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the United States is ranked second in the world for highest carbon dioxide emissions. Going solar is one of the best ways to combat this. Installing solar panels is pretty easy, can save you thousands, and usually has a pretty low payback period. It’s a secure investment with guaranteed performance.
Contacting company branches that are far away can be complicated. Sometimes you just want to be able to sit down with them in person and work things out, but large amounts of flying can damage the environment and make a pretty good dent in your budget. Video conferences are a good way to have a more personal connection with the far-away branches without having to fly.
Jenny is a content writer for ZipBooks and a graduate student at Brigham Young University.