What does “Green” mean to you? How do you define it? There is a fantastic movement towards sustainable development, and eco-friendly, Green, businesses are the new trend. Not only is this refreshing to see, but it also motivates the older establishments to get their act together and stop wasting resources. Even though there are many easy fixes, many established businesses still don’t pay attention to wasted energy.
No one is intrinsically bad at saving energy; it’s the lack of knowledge and the corresponding effort that enables unproductive behavior. Green businesses not only help the environment, but they lower their own operating costs in the long run, thus becoming sustainable- not just environmentally, but monetarily as well. And that is the most important motivating factor.
Here are some easy tips to help move your business into the Green Zone:
I don’t mean just paper, but computers and old electronics. My employer has a week every month where employees can bring in old computers that can either be salvaged for parts, or fixed up and sent to those who need a basic set up.
This not only keeps our landfills clear of old electronics, but helps others.
I don’t understand why people feel the need to print emails. If you really want a copy of something, just save it to your hard-drive or to the cloud. This goes back to the old-school mentality of needing everything in paper copy. If you need to make copies , be sure to print double sided. This will save paper costs.
Almost everyone has a scanner and a printer these. It is so much easier to email documents than faxes. It saves paper, and time.
Unplug or turn off electronics when not in use
My office is terrible for this. We leave computers on because we are too lazy to re-start it in the morning. Powering down your computer can reduce energy used by 50%. That’s a lot of savings in your pocket.
Have an adjustable thermostat
We are all adults and we can dress appropriately for the weather, but when our office is either too cold or too hot it makes it rather difficult to function at work. Make the thermostat accessible for your employees and trust that they will use it appropriately. This will allow the temperature to adjusted in time to save energy costs.
Set up an online pay-roll service. I haven’t received a paper copy of my paycheck in years. Everything is online and easily accessible from anywhere.
Being environmentally friendly doesn’t require huge changes or sacrifices. It just requires some common sense and a bit of work. There are extremely simple ways to save water, energy, and paper and the results in your pocketbook, and the environment will be worth it.
When it comes to running a business, the primary focus should always be the bottom line. If you add up the costs of all the resources saved over the course of a year, it is enough to really make the minimal effort worthwhile.