Going green does more than protect the environment. It can help your business save money and attract more customers. Start going green by taking these 10 easy steps.
1. Stock Your Kitchen With Cups, Plates, and Utensils
According to the EPA, the average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day. You can help your employees reduce the amount of trash they produce by stocking your office kitchen with reusable cups, plates, and utensils. Instead of getting disposable items from restaurants, your employees can rely on their well-stocked kitchen.
2. Use Recyclable Shipping Materials
Choose shipping materials that customers can recycle. It’s a better option than using containers that they have to throw in the trash.
Also, find materials that come from sustainable sources. When possible, use cardboard instead of plastic.
3. Encourage Employees to Use Efficient Forms of Transportation
The typical car creates about 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide a year. Encourage your employees to choose alternative commuting options so they cause less pollution on their ways to work.
Create a program that rewards employees for using public transportation, riding bikes, or carpooling.
4. Let Employees Work From Home
Employees who work from home don’t have to worry about commuting. When possible, let your employees work from home. If every business committed to just one work-at-home day per week, it would reduce carbon emissions significantly.
5. Meet LEED Certification Standards
The requirements vary according to factors like your location and the age of your building. Generally, though, you can make your building greener by doing things like:
- Using natural light.
- Installing low-flow toilets.
- Choosing energy-efficient appliances.
6. Commit to the Cloud
Relying on cloud applications and storage can help your business reduce its energy and paper use. Once you get your employees to use cloud apps, you don’t have to waste electricity powering your own servers. Apps designed for collaboration and storage will also lower the amount of paper that your employees use.
7. Start a Recycling Program
Wasting paper contributes to deforestation and increased water use. On average, paper accounts for half of a business’s waste. Start a paper recycling program to reduce your office’s waste production. For every ton of paper that you recycle, you’ll save 17 trees, 26,500 liters of water, and 682.5 gallons of oil.
Talk to your local government to learn more about municipal recycling programs. You may find that you can take advantage of free recycling services.
8. Recycle Your Old Electronics
Computers, printers, smartphones, and other electronic devices are crucial to your business’s success. Unfortunately, they contain a lot of plastic and metals that shouldn’t go into landfills.
Recycle your old electronics instead of throwing them away. Your city may have an electronics recycling program that you can use. If not, you can use recycling programs from companies like Best Buy and Staples.
9. Install Solar Panels
If your area relies on electricity produced by burning coal, then you should consider installing solar panels on your building. Doing so will help reduce pollution and lower your energy bills.
While solar panels require a relatively large investment, many companies offer payment plans that can make them more affordable. Plus, you’ll save money in the long-run by generating your own electricity.
10. Add a Composting Bin to Your Kitchen
Americans waste about 150,000 tons of food a day. Add a composting bin to your kitchen or break room so employees don’t have to throw away food.
If you are ambitious, you could use the compost to start an on-site garden.
Going green doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. In fact, you may find that green alternatives help you save money while you protect the environment.