10 ways to make your small business more green
It’s official – going green is not just great for the planet, but good for business too. With increasing numbers of consumers stating that they’d rather buy from greener companies, it’s now more important than ever to develop your eco-credentials and run your business in a more sustainable, environmentally friendly manner.
If you’re looking to introduce greener practices into your daily working life, here are ten simple changes you can make straight away.
10 Ways to Get Greener
Only print when necessary
Ask staff to keep printing to a minimum (unless it’s essential), and invest in recycled paper to use when printing can’t be avoided. Make sure you have a recycling bin in the office, so all discarded paper can be recycled on a regular basis.
Encourage staff to ditch the car
Wherever possible, ask employees to walk or cycle to work, or at the very least, use public transport. If this isn’t an option, suggest lift-sharing to minimise the number of cars being driven to the workplace.
Reuse whatever you can
Packaging can often be reused, providing staff don’t rip too enthusiastically when a parcel arrives. Likewise, envelopes, folders, tape dispensers and many other office supplies can be reused more times than you might imagine.
Ditch the chemical-laden products and invest in some eco-friendly cleaning products instead. This applies to washing up liquid, antibacterial spray, sponges and cloths for cleaning and much more.
Switch off the lights (and the heating)
Only use electricity or heating when you need it, rather than out of habit. Switch off lights whenever possible, and make sure that computers are properly switched off at the end of the day, rather than left on standby. It’s also a good idea to disable screen savers, and instead, set your monitors to power down after a certain period of time.
Invest in reusable pens
Biros and other similar pens result in unnecessary plastic waste, as they usually get thrown away when they’re empty. Reusable pens require refill cartridges, which are far less wasteful.
Buy products in bulk
Regardless of what you need; from stationery to sundries for the kitchen (coffee, tea etc.), it’s far better for the environment if you buy in bulk, as it reduces the amount of packaging used.
Even better, look for products that have been sustainably sourced and which have as little impact on the environment as possible.
Consider letting employees work from home
Flexible working is a win-win situation, giving staff the ability to manage their work / life balance more effectively, and often boosting productivity at the same time. It’s also better for the environment, as it eliminates the need to commute.
Choose second-hand / sustainably made furniture
When you next need to replace your furniture, think about where you source it from. Investing in second-hand furniture instantly reduces environmental impact, or alternatively, you could look for furniture companies with solid eco-credentials.
Add a green reminder
In addition to asking staff to make greener choices, encourage your customers to do so too. Add an eco-friendly signature to all your emails, reminding the recipient to only print the contents out if they really need to. It’s only a small thing, but it can still make a big difference.