Quick tips to saving money and reducing your carbon footprint
Being “green” or environmentally friendly is probably not a new idea to you as a business owner or executive. In the last few years especially, the discussion of green business practices, services and products has become so prevalent that it is often no longer the exception—but expectation—to run a more earth-conscious operation.
Consider these ways to green your business without breaking the bank:
1. Reduce travel with virtual meetings
Do you find yourself traveling for business or to meet clients? Consider reducing the number of in-person meetings you might do and go virtual instead! You’ll reduce your fuel consumption, which is good for you and the environment. Plus you’ll save money with all the free online conferencing tools available.
A number of free and low-cost web-based sharing sites (Google Hangouts, WebEx, FuzeBox) have features that allow you to video conference, share screens, use text chats, upload documents, simulate a white board and more.
An added bonus? Think of the time you will save by not hitting the pavement.
2. Ditch the disposables (cups, cutlery, etc.)
Did you know that in just one year, the average American office worker goes through around 500 disposable cups? It’s also been reported that Americans throw out enough paper disposable cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times! But you can make it easier to not be a part of this statistic in the workplace.
Instead of supplying the office with paper and plastic goods for coffee and lunches, switch to cutlery you will keep! Sure, you might spend a few more dollars up front establishing a stock of cups, plates and silverware – but you will make that money back and keep more trash from landfills.
Looking for an even better deal? Visit a discount or thrift store to score your new kitchenware for less than you might pay otherwise.
3. Save energy – with paper!
Sure, you have heard about using sleep modes for devices and unplugging when electronics are not in use. But did you know that your business’ paper use is another area to save energy? Paper manufacturers in the U.S. consume a significant amount of energy each year producing paper. Then there is the energy spent harvesting and shipping trees—and shipping paper products to your business!
To optimize your use of this valuable resource, be sure to use double-sided printing and copying. Even better, you can distribute or reference documents electronically instead if possible.
When making your paper purchases, select products with a high recycled content. Then continue the trend and recycle as much of it as you can when you are through!
This is just the beginning of what you can do to have a “greener” business operation. For more tips and insight, check out SBA’s energy efficiency and green business guides at SBA.gov. From energy savings calculators to industry-specific materials and more, you will find a wealth of information about being an environmentally responsible business.
K. Murray is a Community Moderator for the SBA.gov Community, which shares entrepreneurial endeavors and helps point small business owners in the right direction to find other resources for their operational needs.