Change is never easy, but greening your business may be one wave easier to ride than being caught in its undertow. Already many companies are coming under fire for being inconsiderate of the environment. Others, like General Mills, Unilever, and even the Philadelphia Eagles are realizing that making one’s office or online business energy-efficient is about the most cost-effective thing they’ve done for the company. As you can read in this article, countless companies are finding innovative ways to save money and the environment, but here are five easy ways to green your business to get you started.
Use less paper. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the average office wastes about 350 lbs of paper per employee annually. Wasting less paper means saving money. To this end, try:
- Printing double-sided on paper with at least 30% postconsumer recycled content
- Involving the company in a recycling program
- Reviewing the print preview to see if there’s that excess page with one URL or sentence leaking onto it.
See what other businesses are doing right. Send a few emails or pick up the phone and ask other companies or entrepreneurs what’s working for them and what isn’t. Begin with an internet search for brands in your niche known for being green and begin there.
If you aren’t already, consider telecommuting. With email, smart phones, Skype, and the countless other digital assets we have to our arsenal, it’s fairly safe to say that telecommuting wouldn’t make much of a difference in our jobs. Setting up metrics to maintain similar output will keep yourself and others from slacking during work hours.
Green your website. It’s difficult to imagine a business blog using up much CO2, but according to Harvard University physicist Alex Wissner-Gross, the environmental impact of online business is significant. The cheapest fuel to power just Google’s enormous worldwide data centers is coal—not the cleanest source. To green your site:
- Choose an eco-friendly web host. They power their servers with renewable energy, offset energy used with carbon credits, and optimizer servers to be energy efficient among other techniques. Check out Eco Host Reviews to find a green web host.
- Sign up for the 350 Challenge, and 1% For the Planet —all green initiatives that require no fees and are as easy as the click of a mouse.
- Give subscribers eco-incentives, like pledging to plant a tree for every subscriber (via the Arbor Day Foundation) or offsetting a certain amount of CO2 for contest winners.
As even big companies—typically the scourge of the environment—are proving these days, a little effort to give back to the environment or at least take less from it can go a long way, especially in the eyes of potential clients. Give them another reason to choose your business over others by going green.
About the author:
Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and researcher for College Scholarships, where recently she’s been researching economic student scholarships as well as scholarships for Arabic students. Whenever she gets some free time, she enjoys watching a funny movie or curling up with a good book.