Tools for Tomorrow: Go Green
The first day of Spring is just under 3 months away! And you know what that means… birds chirping, flowers in bloom, and everything coming up green. Speaking of green, have you thought about how green your business is?
You see, going green will not only help your local (and global) environment, but it can also improve your bottom line. Being environmentally friendly also leads to higher levels of employee engagement, and boosts a positive image in your community. In fact, over half of global consumers prefer to purchase goods and services from brands with a positive environmental reputation. So, in that respect, going green gives your business an edge over your competition.
Here are ten easy ways for your business to go green(er)!
1. Power Down!
Turn off non-essential computers and monitors overnight and on the weekends. While it might seem like a big hassle to power up in the morning, this little task can reduce energy bills and waste. If you can’t fully power down, try putting your computers to energy-saving “sleep” mode.
2. Turn Off The Lights!
Lighting can account for up to 40% of your business’ energy consumption. If possible, install a motion sensitive switch for the bathrooms, where guests and employees often leave the lights on all day. At the very least, install timers for your lights or shut off all non-essential lights at the end of the day.
3. Install the Right Lights
Replace your standard bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs (the squiggly ones) to use almost 75% less energy than a traditional bulb. Even though they might be a bit more expensive, they will last you at least 6 times as long as a traditional bulb.
Help your team recycle (in the kitchen, office, or stockroom) and offer space for your customers to recycle.
- Extra points: If appropriate, post statistics about the volumes of paper, plastic, glass and metal that ends up in landfills each year to make a case for recycling for your employees and your customers.
5. Buy Used
If appropriate / feasible, buy used office furniture or kitchen equipment. There are several resellers that cater to business customers.
- Extra points: Recycle your old equipment before you buy new (or used)!
6. Use Green Cleaning Products
Most of the cleaning products used in businesses today are super toxic – not to mention smelly. Natural or green cleaning products often do the job just as well, and don’t leave your store or restaurant smelling like a chlorine pool.
7. Volunteer Together!
Encourage participation by your employees (and your customers, if allowable!) in green events in your neighborhood, and champion local environmental events. Spend a day cleaning up a park, gardening at a school, or building a house with Habitat for Humanity.
8. Supply Your Customers with Recycled Goods
Think about all of the things you “give” your customers other than what they purchase: packaging, napkins, paper towels, disposable silverware, receipt paper, to-go containers. All these little things add up, and making a change to recycled products can add up too!
9. Print Less
Use digital storage solutions to keep track of important papers, instead of using file cabinets filled with paper. Create a company-wide printing policy (“think before you print”) and encourage electronic communication between employees and customers.
10. Go Green – literally!
Put a plant or two up in your office or on your sales floor. Plants absorb airborne pollutants and negative ions from computers, all while emitting oxygen. Plus, they look nice!
Going green requires a team effort, so work with your employees and partners to develop a green motto and plan for your business. This way, each team member is on board and understands the expectations for success. Share your motto with your customers, and keep them posted on your progress!
What steps have you and your business taken to be green(er)? Let us know!