As we celebrate the 45th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, it’s important to ensure your small business is being as green as possible. There are plenty of ways your can go greener, including:
- You’ll save on utility costs by sharing office space with another company, renting an office only when needed (there are plenty of office suite rental companies) or use one of the many shared workspaces that are popping in nearly every city in the U.S.
- If possible, run a virtual business from your home. This not only saves you a lot of money in general, but essentially eliminates your commuting costs, saving wear and tear on your car—and cutting how much you spend on gasoline.
- If you’re lucky enough to have an office where the windows open, you can cool your office that way (especially in spring) instead of cranking up the air conditioner.
Also, you can:
- Recycle paper.
- Recycle toner cartridges.
- Buy recycled paper.
- Print only when you absolutely must.
- Allow your employees to telecommute when possible.
- Turn your computers, lights and monitors off every night.
- Buy used office furniture (re-use keeps things out of landfills).
- Meet with clients by conference call or teleconference when you can (it keeps your carbon footprint smaller than airplane flights or driving).
Numerous studies have shown consumers are more supportive of companies that are environmentally friendly, however today so many businesses make the green claim, consumers have gotten pretty skeptical. A survey taken a few years ago by GfK shows 40 percent of consumers think “environmentally friendly” means your products has a positive impact on the environment, 22 percent think the environmental impact is neutral and 9 percent don’t think the term means anything at all.
To show you’re committed to being green, you can sponsor a green team at a local school, incentivize your employees to be greener (no Styrofoam cups) and participate in environmental civic activities in your city or town.
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