If you are a business owner that’s environmentally conscious…
you have the ability to really make a difference by changing the way your business functions. You may think that you need to dip into your expenses to go green but that’s not even remotely true. In most cases, you can go green without spending a single cent. Here are some of the top ways to make your business a part of the solution and not the problem.
1. Do Business with Green Companies
There are many green B to B businesses that you can switch to if you care about the environment. One great example is green web hosting companies. These companies use renewable sources of energy to power their servers. You’ll be surprised at the methods these companies use to get energy as a few of them have large scale solar panel farms that power their entire operation. Some of these web hosting companies may even donate a portion of their earnings to environmental causes.
Just make sure that you do the research. Don’t buy into their claims right away as the company may be using it as a marketing statement. The best part about switching to green companies is that they’re usually no more expensive than other providers. The price range usually falls into the same areas and while these companies are usually smaller, they still manage to deliver a great service.
2. Get Involved with Recycling Programs
The easiest thing you can do to make your business environmentally friendly is to set up recycling bins all over your offices. Start by learning what can be recycled in your city and set up the appropriate bins. Typically, cardboard, paper and cartons can be recycled into the paper category. What many people don’t know is that plastics and metals can also be recycled. You need to make recycling an office affair, so make sure you have your entire staff onboard with how they should throw away their trash.
If you have old equipment you want to get rid of, you can also look into finding companies that recycle specific types of products like electronics. In fact, you can make some money for recycling these products. For example, there are companies that will pay for old cell phones and computers. There are even companies that pay for old medical records. If you have sensitive information that you need to get rid of, make sure that the company you work with has a process that will protect you and get rid of the sensitive information effectively.
3. Buy Your Energy from Renewable Sources
Many cities are now offering consumers and businesses the ability to buy electricity from renewable sources. You can make a big difference in the environment be signing up to buy renewable energy. If you are in an area where there is only one energy provider, look into your options and see if you can purchase renewable energy from the provider. Otherwise, look for alternative energy companies in your area.
The only downside to buying electricity from renewable source is that it is a little more expensive at this moment. That’s because the infrastructure has not been streamlined to make it as cost efficient as energy generated from fossil fuels. The cost increase, however, is not significant and in a few years consumers and businesses will see the costs come down significantly. Part of getting to that point is an increased demand, so if you want to be a part of that process, you should think about making the switch.
4. Organize a Car Pooling Program
Another free way to make your business more environmentally friendly is to organize a car pooling program. Try to bring together employees that live near each other so they can car pool to work. This will help your employees save on transportation costs and in many cases, help them decrease commute time since they’ll be able to take the car pool lane.
If there are employees that do not own cars and need transportation solutions, there are car share companies like Zipcar that employees can use together to cut down on the rental costs. Whichever solution you decide to go with, the important thing is to put in the effort to organize the car pool program and connect the right employees together. This solution is great for the environment and economical for your employees.
5. Do an Energy Audit for Your Office
The Department of Energy reports that sealing leaks and cracks can bring down the cost of your electric bills that come from heating and cooling your home or office. You should look for a contractor that is knowledgeable about energy conservation and can seal up the leaks. If you are renting an office, talk to the property owner or manager to see if they can pay for the costs.
Another energy audit you should conduct is to figure out how much energy your lighting and equipment is consuming. For example, LED lighting lasts longer and uses less energy than conventional light bulbs. If you’re renting equipment, you can go with equipment that is more energy friendly. There might be some upfront costs that you need to face when making the change, but it will be more economical in the long run.
These are just a few of the top ways to make your business environmentally friendly. As mentioned earlier, most of these solutions are free. The only one that may increase your costs is buying electricity from renewable sources. If you can’t afford the price hike, then just commit to the other solutions that do not affect your budget. They may even help your business generate some quick cash.