Ten Easy Ways to Green Your Business

Ten Easy Ways to Green Your Business

Taking your small business green isn’t just a great way to help the planet – it can also lower costs by making your office more efficient and by cutting down on wasted resources. So get started making your office or small business eco-friendly by following these ten simple steps.

1. Turn off the lights

Saving money is as simple as turning off the lights. The Department of Energy estimates that lighting accounts for 22% of electricity use in office buildings. To help cut down those costs, make sure lights are turned off in rooms that are not being used and at the end of the day. Even better, install motion-sensor switches and timers to ensure lights are being used efficiently.

2. Power down

Electronics like computers, televisions, monitors, and printers are another big source of energy consumption. When left on, a desktop computer uses up to 250 watts an hour, and even when turned off these appliances continue to consumer power – a shut-down computer will use around five watts an hour if it is still plugged in. Multiply that for every computer if your office, and the cost can add up quickly. So cut down on energy waste by making sure that electronics are turned off at the source when not in use.

3. Conserve water

Most of us take easy access to water for granted, but it takes a great deal of energy to process, transport, and heat the water in your office bathroom or kitchen, so help reduce waste by encouraging efficient water usage. Install low-flow faucets and high efficiency toilets to cut down on the amount of water you use. Also make sure leaky pipes and appliances are repaired quickly.

4. Recycle

Recycling is an simple way for your business to help the environment. Place recycling bins in easily accessible locations and educate employees about which types of items can be recycled. Also make sure to buy recyclable office products like paper, pens, plates, and cups and to recycle old electronics like computers and printers.

5. Compost

Composting in an office may seem difficult, but there are a number of options available for making use of all those coffee grounds, fruits peels, and lunch leftovers. If your office has an outdoor space, it’s easy to start and maintain an outdoor compost bin, especially if you can add landscape waste. If an outdoor space is not available, many cities offer a compost pick-up service – all you have to do is put in a kitchen compost bin to collect scraps and arrange for regular collection. If you’re composting, stock your kitchen with plates and cutlery made from biodegradable plastics like PLA.

6. Carpool

Cars are a major source of air pollution, so help keep cars off the road by encouraging employees to carpool. They’ll be keeping harmful fumes out of the air and saving money on gas.

7. Clean green

Industrial cleaners are another source of harmful air pollution, especially indoors. Keep your office free of dangerous volatile organic compounds, bleach fumes, and other toxic chemicals by using green cleaning products. Look for cleaners made with citrussoy, or enzymes.     

8. Be a smart shopper

Stock your office with green products. Look for recycled paper products like paper towels and toilet paper, wood products certified by the FSC, biodegradable and recyclable kitchen items, and Energy Star certified appliances. You can also reduce office waste by stocking reusable items, including kitchen supplies, pens, and ink cartridges.

9. Print less

American office workers use 120 lbs. of paper each per year. To help reduce your business’s environmental impact, encourage employees to conserve paper by printing only when needed.

10. Volunteer

Get the office together to help with local charity projects like park clean-ups or planting a garden. Volunteering is a great way to bring employees together and to help the community.

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