Becoming eco-friendly does not simply mean carpooling with Jimmy three days a week and using more recycling bins around the office. In reality, small businesses can diminish their carbon footprint by re-evaluating the entirety of their work ethic. More often than not, despite believing that their environmental efforts don't matter (Spoiler alert: they do!), these businesses actually benefit from the transition. Namely, making your business that much greener is favourable for both the environment and your business reputation.
In fact, becoming more eco-friendly enables your company to reach out to partners and clients with similar values; it’s been demonstrated that younger consumers pursue and support companies that believe in sustainability. So, here are a few tips to get 7 steps closer to becoming that eco-friendly company you’ve always sought out to be.
1. Conserve Water and Annihilate Plastic Bottles 🚰
This one may seem like a no-brainer but you would be astonished to realize just how often this simple step is overlooked. For one, sparing water (such as repairing leaky faucets) can not only aid the environment but, in the long run, it will also save you money. In addition, having your business install a water-filtration system will eliminate the need for plastic water bottles and, again, save you both time and money. It’s high time you tell Jimmy to ditch the plastic, we’re sure he’ll understand.
2. Bring Forth Your Inner Gardener 🌻
Known to many, plants are crucial aspects of our ecosystem. One reason being, they behave as filters for pollution and produce oxygen, ameliorating the quality of air that is essential for both you and your employees. As an added bonus, the shade from the plants will cool down the place and, likewise, make your business visually more appealing.
3. Say Good Riddance to Paper 📝
If this does not seem entirely realistic at the moment, we can, at the very least, attempt to cut down on consumption. As you can imagine, eliminating paper from your business is, albeit manageable, a rather transformative step in the right direction to becoming an eco-friendly company.
PRO TIP: If your company tends to book their appointments by way of pen and paper, you should really consider switching over to an easy and convenient online booking software. Just remember to do it at your own comfortable pace. Your clients will be more than pleased.
4. Outsource Your Printing Needs 🖨️
We understand. Although your business has taken it upon themselves to go paperless (congratulations, by the way), you will still require to print a few documents now and again. When this is the case, you may consider outsourcing the process to an external company that actually has the machines needed to complete the task with minimal waste. Moreover, you should remember to print your documents on both sides of the paper, print solely the exact copies you need, avoid printing in colour and, equally important, assure that the paper used has been recycled.
PRO TIP: If your company is accustomed to printing their clients’ receipts, you ought to consider making the transition over to electronic receipts, further establishing your eco-friendly philosophy.
5. Finding Energy Efficient Alternatives 💡
The next time you have an old appliance fail on you, conduct an efficiency check on potential replacements so as to ensure that you select the ones that are, in regards to low energy usage, most effective. In other words, take a look at how each appliance compares to its competition in terms of energy efficiency. This way, you will be able to make an educated decision as to which items are most beneficial to the environment.
6. Those Old Electronics? Recycle Them ♻️
Sadly, the majority of electronics end up in landfills and, as we know, landfills tend to be the environment's worst nightmare. So, when you get around to replacing those archaic electronics/appliances, research how they can be recycled. One suggestion would be to visit your local electronics retailers. Chances are, they will accept and recycle whatever is no longer needed, particularly if said devices are less than five years old.
7. Use Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products 🧽
A little unknown fact about the cleaning products that we use is that they have detrimental implications for both our health and the environment. That is to say, most commercial cleaners depend on a blend of chemicals that render people quite ill. Realizing this, you ought to substitute these conventional products for nontoxic, eco-friendly alternatives. Thankfully, most surfaces can be cleaned with lukewarm water and basic, fragrance-free, biodegradable soap. Jimmy will no longer have to call in sick due to the toxic fumes!
Although these may appear as tiny baby steps for you and your business, they are, without a doubt, necessary steps in the right direction. And, luckily, they are quite simple to implement. Furthermore, your clients will surely notice and appreciate the positive change for a greener future. So, to summarize, have your business ditch plastic water bottles; acquire plants for the office or business; say no to paper and outsource your printing needs; replace and recycle inefficient appliances and electronics; and exchange those destructive cleaning products for non-toxic alternatives. Finally, never forget that you will be promoting a sustainable and optimistic future for forthcoming generations. That alone should put a smile on your face!