While major companies create powerful green initiatives, many small businesses use the excuse of “limited resources” to do anything. However, everyone plays an important role in protecting the environment, and small businesses have a unique opportunity to involve their community of employees and customers.
The most effective environmental conservation projects need not cost much more than a collective effort. If you own or work in a small business, here are five inexpensive ways you can help save the world.
There are endless ways for businesses to reduce energy consumption and save money. You can adopt simple habits, such as:
• Use compact fluorescent lamps in place of incandescent bulbs. They last 10 times longer and use as much as 80 percent less energy.
• Use natural lighting during the day.
• Turn off computers and other machines when not in use. Desktop and personal computers left running unused for hours can cost you a lot.
• Reduce paper consumption as much as possible. If something doesn’t need printing, don’t print it. Send memos and the like digitally.
• Recycle everything you can, from paper and packing materials to computers and old office phones.
• Install efficient air conditioning systems.
If you implement these ideas (and many more) in your business, you’ll save more energy and money than you would have thought possible.
If you don’t have the money for big environmental projects, you can always give your time. Set aside one day every month, quarter or year to engage in community environmental preservation efforts. Encourage employee participation and invite customers to join you as well. Not only will you do some good for the environment, but your efforts can also earn your brand positive exposure.
Education is often neglected in environmental conservation. For everyone to play their part, they must know what to do. Small businesses can take advantage of their close customer relationship to educate their clients about better habits and practices to protect the environment. Locally, you can use billboards, flyers, media advertisements, and one-on-one conversations; online you can use the company blog, social media accounts, and advertising.
Numerous environmental conservation organizations could use a little financial help. Take your pick and donate whatever amount you can — even if it’s only a few dollars. A good way of doing this, and boosting your brand at the same time, is to donate a percentage of every dollar your business earns in a certain period to an environmental non-profit.
Small Businesses can Go Green!
Transport is an easy target for going green. Encourage your employees to join you in using public transport, carpooling, hybrid cars, and bicycles for transport. You could even put on a company bus or van to transport employees to and from work.
Becoming more environmentally sensitive can seem like an added, expensive burden, but many of the things you do can directly benefit your business, for example, community work results in positive branding. If it doesn’t generate extra custom and profit, you can still be thankful you have a cleaner environment.
If you need help transitioning your small business to be more environmentally friendly, contact us here.