Having an eco-friendly business is not only all the rage, but it is a great way to have a successful business while minimizing your environmental footprint on the world. While “green” practices can sometimes cost a little more money upfront, they often pay off financially down the road as they tend to save you money in the long run. The following are a few ideas to help you take your business green:
- Offices use quite a bit of energy. A great way to start taking your business green is to make some changes around the office space. Replace all of your lightbulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs that are more energy-efficient and last quite a bit longer than regular bulbs. The Environmental Protection Agency has done research as far as the efficiency of these compact fluorescent bulbs and they found that “If every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, [they] would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year, more than $600 million in annual energy costs, and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.” In addition, be sure to turn off all equipment, appliances and lights on weeknights, weekends and holidays to avoid any excess electricity being used when unnecessary.
- Replacing office equipment can be a huge expense, so instead of going out and purchasing all new energy-efficient equipment, simply replace equipment on an ongoing basis as needed. As you have to replace things here and there, be sure to look for the Energy Star logo as that equipment is going to save you money in annual energy costs.
- Try to avoid keeping excess inventory in-stock. While it is important to have somewhat of a stock of inventory to keep your business running smoothly, having too much not only costs your business more, but results in additional energy costs for storage space as well. Utilize inventory management software to maintain the right balance of inventory in order to keep your business on track and energy-efficient.
- Encourage paperless practices wherever possible. Whether it’s the agendas for the weekly office meeting, communication between coworkers, management or clients or even the billing and financial aspect of your business, try to use email or paperless communication wherever possible in order to reduce the amount of paper and waste that your office produces.