Whether you run a home-based business or a brick-and-mortar retail business, there are simple, easy things you can do to go green. And operating a green business is not only good for the environment but good for your business’s bottom line because conserving resources and cutting down on waste saves money.
Here are just ten easy-to-implement ideas for running a green business from the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Greening Operations guides that you can put into practice right now to make your business a more environmentally friendly place.
Whether you run a home-based business or a brick-and-mortar retail business an off-site enterprise, there are simple, easy things you can do to go green. And operating a green business is not only good for the environment but good for your business’s bottom line because conserving resources and cutting down on waste saves money.
Go green by:
1. Turning off equipment when it’s not being used. This can reduce the energy used by 25 percent; turning off the computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50 percent.
2. Encouraging communications by email, and reading email messages onscreen to determine whether it’s necessary to print them. If it’s not, don’t!
3. Reducing fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a computer, without requiring a printed hard copy.
4. Producing double-sided documents whenever possible.
5. Not leaving taps dripping; always close them tightly after use. (One drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year.)
6. Installing displacement toilet dams in toilet reservoirs. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet’s reservoir will displace about 4 litres of water per flush – a huge reduction of water use over the course of a year.
7. Finding a supply of paper with maximum available recycled content.
8. Choosing suppliers who take back packaging for reuse.
9. Instigating an ongoing search for “greener” products and services in the local community. The further your supplies or service providers have to travel, the more energy will be used to get them to you.
10. Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It’s less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
A Green Business Starts With Small Steps
Environmentally friendly actions don’t have to be large to have an impact. Consistently reducing the amount of energy, water, and paper our businesses use can make a huge difference, both to the environment and to our pocketbooks. How much paper would you save over the course of a year, for instance, if you always ran doublesided copies? A small easy way to go green – but a big result!