Small businesses have become more innovative in creating more sustainable workplaces and public areas, unlike larger corporations. So, if you’re a small business, it’s not too late to change your business practices and building for the better – or, in this case, “greener.” And, you can start implementing “greener” ideas today.
Here are 7 ways to make your small business greener:
- Practice Energy Conservation
“The office can be a busy place, which means using tons of electricity to power everything in it,” says Benjamin Hannah, a lifestyle writer at Boom Essays and Liahelp “So, everyone – management and employees – must be conscious about the amount of energy that they use for their business practices. Consider implementing ways that you and everyone else in the office can conserve energy.”
Such examples of energy conservation include:
- Turning off (or enabling sleep mode on) electrical devices when they’re not in use
- Using timers on lighting, so that lights automatically shut off at the end of the day
- Using natural light when working near windows
- Investing in energy-efficient office appliances (i.e. dishwashers and fridges)
2. Create A Paper-Free Work Zone
Don’t like the thought of your office paper filling up the landfills? Then, not to worry! You and your office residents can make it a goal to reduce the amount of paper that you all use during business hours.
Plus, consider how printers can use up a lot of paper, energy, and ink. But thanks to technology, small businesses can make their documents more digital and organized, rather than physical copies from printers and filling up cabinets.
So, when creating a greener work zone, you can create a policy where certain areas of the building (or everywhere in there) are paperless – or “paper-limited.”
3. Use Cloud Storage
Also, instead of using overflowing file cabinets to store documents, consider using the Cloud. With an Internet connection, the Cloud can store data, and be accessed at anytime, anywhere, from any device – computer, smartphone, etc. By allowing the Cloud to store your documents, you’ll reduce the likelihood of wasting paper, and negatively affecting the environment.
4. Use Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
Ever wanted more eco-friendly office supplies? You can!
Eco-friendly officer supplies include:
- Using energy-efficient lightbulbs
- Using eco-friendly cleaning supplies
- Using rechargeable batteries, instead of buying new ones
- Buying recycled paper
- Printing paper on both of its sides
- Encouraging employees to opt for reusable water bottles, instead of plastic bottles
- Buying reusable ink cartridges, instead of replacing empty ones
5. Make The Office Kitchen Greener
Office kitchens can also be greener in the following ways:
- Using and washing regular dishes and cutlery, instead of using disposable ones
- Using eco-friendly napkins, instead of paper napkins
- Using and washing reusable straws, instead of using single-use plastic straws
- Not buying individually-packaged office snacks
- Promoting recycling with post signs and training
- Establishing an office compost system
6. Use Renewable Energy
“Advocacy for renewable energy has grown in momentum, especially among small businesses,” says Charles Cremor, a business blogger at Oxessays and EssayRoo. “Implementing renewable energy at the office can help you reduce your carbon footprint, and help you save on your energy bills. Making such changes can get you rebates or a tax write-off for making your office building greener.”
Some renewable energy ideas that you and the office can implement include:
- Using geothermal heating systems, rather than traditional electrical heating
- Using solar panels as a generator and water-heating system
- If possible, investing in wind energy to power your office building (similar to solar energy)
7. Promote Green Transportation
Finally, you can encourage employees to get to and from work using sustainable transportation methods, like:
- Biking, AND OR
- Taking public transportation
You can even offer your employees incentives to make these newer (and greener) commutes possible. Such incentives include:
- Issuing public transit passes for employees
- Installing indoor bike storage
- Starting a carpooling program
- Partnering with rideshare programs
- Noting suitable bike lanes
Now, keep in mind, when implementing some – or all – of these ideas, they may take some time for you and everyone else in the office to get used to. However, it pays to take these ideas one step at a time, so that everyone is on the same page. Also, it’s important to be consistent, when putting these ideas into use.
Once you have these new and greener practices down, not only will your office residents thank you for them, but so will the environment.