Businesses across the country are making efforts to become more eco-friendly. Choosing to be more eco-friendly not only helps the climate, but also the productivity of your employees, the efficiency of your operations, the cost of running your business, and possibly most important of all, the image of your brand. Read on to learn about eight different areas of your business that you can make more eco-friendly.
Doing the right thing for the environment saves polar bears, saves your business money, and helps boost your reputation. In addition, people today expect eco-mindedness from businesses they associate with.
Given the growing trend to support businesses that consider their carbon footprint, one of the biggest advantages of going green is that it helps your brand’s image become attractive to potential customers. Last but not least, taking the steps to be more eco-friendly is a lot easier than it sounds.
Being a more eco-friendly business means using resources with the best value for everyone. Here are some simple suggestions to become a more eco-friendly business:
To be more eco-friendly with paper, start using post-consumer waste (PCW) products like printing paper, packaging, toilet paper, and napkins, which are made from recycled materials. PCW papers are significantly less harmful to the environment and utilize less water and energy in production.
Another way to be eco-friendly with your paper is to print as little as you can and make sure to print on the highest percent of PCW paper you can find. Go paperless with your bills, and explore the option of sending invoices to your clients via email or another electronic method.
Don’t forget to recycle the paper you already have in your office. Provide all areas of the office with recycling bins to encourage people to recycle.
Disposing of your business’s ink and toner cartridges properly is another way to become more eco-friendly. Find stores closest to you that have drop-off bins available, such as Staples, Office Depot, Walmart, and BestBuy. Some office equipment companies, like Xerox, make it easy for customers to ship empty toner cartridges back to them to be recycled or reused. Consider talking with your print equipment provider about their procedures for recycling ink and toner materials as well. Part of being eco-friendly is inspiring others to be eco-friendly too!
Making the switch to eco-friendly cleaning chemicals is easy. Harsh, toxic chemical cleaners in the workplace first and foremost have a significant impact on the personal health of employees. Down the drain and somewhere else in the environment these harsh chemicals have a lasting impact on water quality and ultimately the habitat quality for animals. Cleaning products like a hemp-based castle, biodegradable sprays, or animal-free soaps are a simple step to taking care of your employees, their workspace, and the environment.
High-efficiency lights like LEDs and CFLs (compact fluorescent) might cost slightly more than regular lighting but they will last up to 50x longer than regular incandescent lighting. Furthermore, these eco-friendly light options avoid using as much energy as incandescents, which will immediately drive down costs associated with electricity. Save money and save the environment by switching to more energy efficient lights.
Update your old technology with their energy efficient equivalent. As with newer lighting options, energy-efficient appliances (look for the Energy Star symbol) like fridges, dishwashers, and coffeemakers use less energy than their predecessors offsetting thousands of pounds of carbon. In a short while, you will see your utility bill shrink with the use of eco-friendly appliances for your business.
To find out more about products that can help your business become a more eco-friendly workplace, you can sign up for a no-cost business energy audit. Nearly every state has local utility-sponsored programs to help companies replace old light bulbs, update heating insulation, seal drafty cracks and leaky pipes. Any repair or appliance updating recommendations the auditors make are subject to be partly or even fully covered by your state. A quick search for your state’s policies and programs will help guide you in the right direction.
Biking or walking to work is a carbon-neutral commute, of course. Taking advantage of public transit (commuter rails, subways, buses) as much as you can is another easy way to slash carbon footprints. If your business uses vans to get employees into the field or to the job site, consider investing in a hybrid or other high-efficiency vehicles to save money on gas and reduce carbon emissions.
Did you know that there are national holidays and whole months dedicated to Earth awareness? For example:
These holidays provide opportunities to get creative with your marketing and messaging, engage your target audience, and show your support for our beloved planet. For more holidays and observances, download our full (free) Marketing Calendar. It’s free!
Alternative energy like solar will inevitably change the way American businesses use energy. Not only is solar dramatically decreasing carbon footprints, it is also the cheapest and most readily abundant form of energy.
Currently, when any business decides to go solar the project is granted a federal tax credit worth up to 30% of the sticker price, and state-based incentives and rewards programs aim to cover the remainder of costs associated.
Some states mandate net metering programs for businesses that help you save money year over year by avoiding the cost of energy. Some states even permit business to sell their excess energy to local utilities, which provides businesses with alternative revenue streams. Incentives and programs vary from state to state, but with the cost of solar systems shrinking, it is becoming more and more accessible and affordable for small businesses to become energy independent.
Taking the steps to be a more eco-friendly business is simple. Start small and go from there. A few quick Google searches will help you find clean products, recycling options, energy audit programs and other renewable energy options.