Going green is about adopting practices that reduce the environmental impact of your household or business. Going green is something that has become increasingly popular. In a world that is embracing positive change to maintain the earth for future generations, consumers want to know that the companies they patron are taking sustainability as seriously as they are. But can a business really go green without hurting their bottom line? Yes! Here you will find five ways to help launch your business into the green zone.
5 Ways to Start Going Green:
1. Lead By Example
Implementing green ideas around your workspace alone is a start in the right direction, but team involvement may be the key to making lasting changes. So, be as inclusive as possible. Whether you work in a boutique, a restaurant, or a veterinarian’s office, include every employee from the veterinary clinic receptionist, to lab assistants, to janitors. Show them that not only are you serious about making a change but that you want changes to be a team effort. Most often the team will follow suit and you may even get a few innovative ideas for your efforts.
2. Green Budget
Tracking your budget is something that most businesses take seriously. Take a closer look at what you spend the most money on—things like your lighting, water bills, and the average costs of supplies. Identifying target areas can give you a good idea of where to begin making changes to reduce energy consumption and waste. After looking over your invoices, set goals and baselines for where you are currently and where you would like to be. Establishing a starting point will make tracking progress easier down the road.
3. Become Energy Efficient
One of the things that can be done to instantly make your company more efficient is to monitor actual energy use. It sounds complicated but it is as simple as turning off lights or putting computers into sleep mode at the end of a shift so that they are not using as much power overnight. Becoming energy efficient is as much about education and changing habits as it is about actions.
4. Paperless or Use Less Paper
According to studies, upwards of fifty percent of business waste is paper waste. So even with digital options like email and instant messaging platforms like Skype, businesses still use a ton of paper products. One effortless way to make your business eco-friendly is by cutting down on paper waste. Work on integrating more technology in your daily hustle and bustle. Instead of printing out presentations, think about projector systems where everyone can view vital information. Use tablets or laptops for employees to take any notes they may need.
Check out cloud computing for storing information and online statements for bills and invoices. If you must use paper, try recycled paper products. There are products on the market that are made of 100% post-consumer waste products. These products, because they have already been processed, take forty-five percent less energy to make and would be a good move for those looking to reduce their own consumption rates.
Lastly, the last and most simple thing you can do is recycle. Virtually anything from paper to packaging and even metal and plastic can be recycled. Recycling will greatly reduce your consumer waste and help with sustainability. One of the easiest ways to encourage recycling is by placing containers in high traffic areas. Also, depending on what you are recycling, your business may even receive some kickbacks. Items such as ink cartridges, depending on the brand and company, may even pay you to send them back for reuse.
Going green is more about fixing small things and changing old habits for long-lasting results. So, while you can make big changes like upgrading your building so that it is more weatherproof, steps such as turning off the lights during the day and before you leave for the night can make a big difference as well. Educate yourself and your employees, work on the small things, and you will find yourself going green in no time.