With all of the products and services consumers have to select from, it's never been more important to make your business rise above your competitors. Greening your business is a way to save money -- a top priority for most companies with the high amount of business debt many have incurred. Take a look at these easy steps your business can take to save money and decrease its impact on the Earth.
Related: Cut down on paper waste with document management software.
Switch to Post-Consumer Waste.
When feasible, skip paper all together. If you must print, use eco-friendly paper. Many business owners with good intentions look for the recycling symbol on a box of paper, but only PCW (post-consumer waste) paper is made entirely from the paper we've put in our recycling bins. Purchase products labeled as 100% PCW so you're certain the paper you use makes the least impact on our planet. Don't forget to toss paper scraps into your recycle bin as opposed to sending them off to the landfill.
Power Your Office With Alternative Energy.
Many areas of the United States allow you to sign up to purchase "green power" from your utility provider. This type of power is generated from renewable energy sources like wind and solar power, hydropower, geothermal and plant matter. Your electric bill will increase by a small amount; the money is used to purchase clean energy that's fed into the electrical grid.
Related: 6 Strategies for Green IT
Think About Your Method of Transportation.
If employees must go out into the field, carpool or contemplate public transportation if it's available. Invest in hybrid vehicles for your company if your business provides company cars. By trying out these options instead of simply hopping into your car, you'll reduce the carbon footprint your business makes and to show your commitment to the environment.
Use Compact-Fluorescent or LED Lights.
While both lights have a higher purchase price than incandescent bulbs, they last much longer and use less energy. These forms of bulbs work in most fixtures and each $1 invested in environmentally friendly lighting can save up to $6 in energy costs.
Related: How to Green Your Office
Recycle Outside the Box.
A recent survey tells us that less than 10 percent of businesses in the U.S. recycle. So go ahead and make it a point to recycle all items possible instead of simply tossing them into the trash bin. Next time it comes to buying new office furniture, consider used options. Craigslist has a host of good deals on gently used furniture that would work well in an office space.
These simple greening tips can cut your bills and make your business more attractive to eco-conscious customers. Make sure your website reflects what you are doing. Create a green practices section that shares your efforts to make the planet a better place.
What changes have you made to encourage a more green business?
About the Author:
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.