Make Your Small Business More Green

By Oct 12 , 20111 Comment

Tips for making your office more green.

Being eco-friendly isn’t just for individuals and large corporations who need a boost to their PR. Small businesses, too, can get onboard with the movement. Even if being green doesn’t mesh with your worldview, it can still bring about cost savings for your business. Here are some steps that any small business owner can take:

Eliminate Trash  
Sure, it’s impossible to completely remove your business’s trash cans and eliminate waste of all kinds. But there are ways to cut down on trash – and to reduce costs in the process. If you provide something for your employers that creates waste and is not necessary, it is a good candidate for elimination. Paper products are a good place to start. Instead of buying tons of paper that will only be thrown out, go paperless whenever possible.

Use email rather than printing and handing out a document. Send out electronic checks for employers who use direct deposit. Another contender for elimination could come in the form of food or water products. Instead of providing wholesale water bottles that will only end up in the trash, encourage your employees to bring their own and use the tap.

Use Less Electricity
There are many ways to go about accomplishing this task. The cheapest is to simply insure that employees turn everything off before leaving for the day – computers and monitors as well as lights. This can translate into significant electricity savings. Other options require up-front costs but also promise savings in the long run: you can have your building examined for cracks and leaks, start using energy efficient light bulbs, or install timers and motion sensors to insure that lights don’t stay on and that the temperature isn’t set too high overnight.

Even if being green doesn’t mesh with your worldview, it can still bring about cost savings for your business.

Promote Telecommuting
If your business is in a metropolitan area, there’s a good chance that you and your employees spend thousands of dollars commuting each year. By allowing staff to occasionally work from home, you not only help the environment by reducing gas consumption, but you can also save some money on electricity and water at the same time. Allowing employees to telecommute can furthermore boost worker satisfaction and productivity by creating flexibility in their schedules and by periodically eliminating a stressful commute.

There are more ways to go green in the workplace, but this list should make for a good place to start. If you aren’t already taking steps to conserve and eliminate when possible, there’s no reason to not start doing so. After all, these steps are usually cheap or free, often provide long-term savings, and can increase your employee satisfaction. And, of course, they are good for the environment, too.

  • Patricia Lotich

    Great point on saving money while taking a green approach. Too many people don’t spend the time trying to figure out green solutions. The cost benefit should be enough to make it a priority.