Implementing eco-friendly business practices can mean a more productive workplace and a lighter ecological footprint. From switching to green office supplies to commuting the smart way, there are plenty of opportunities for employees and employers alike to make a difference for the environment. Look at office consumption and find efficient ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
1. Buy Supplies in Bulk
Many people buy groceries in bulk as a way to save money and reduce waste. Bulk items use less packaging than the same amount sold individually, so there’s less plastic wrap and cardboard to deal with. The same concept can be applied to businesses. Office supplies, like recycled paper, toner, boxes and writing instruments can be purchased in bulk. Look for terms like “high-capacity” or “high-efficiency” that indicate a lower per-unit cost of the products purchased.
2. Look for Signs of Waste
Many business owners are not aware of how much their business wastes. Waste usually means something was paid for, but not consumed. This could include leaving the lights on over the weekend or ordering supplies that sit unused for long periods of time. Take a close look at the amount of paper being used in the office. Is it really necessary to print out a presentation copy for every person in the meeting? If people at the office have laptops, it may be better to email the documents, allowing people to take notes on their computers with the document on hand. If something must be printed, consider changing the print settings to use less toner or reducing the size of the margins to use fewer sheets of paper. Examine sources of waste in the business and find ways to be more efficient.
3. Choose Energy-Saving Products
Business owners can save money on energy bills by selecting Energy Star equipment and appliances. Ensure that the Energy Star feature is enabled on the equipment before using it. Printers, computers and kitchen appliances can also be found with the Energy Star label, saving hundreds to thousands on energy bills each year.
4. Reduce Business Commutes
One of the biggest energy consumptions comes from commuting to and from the office. Employees can save energy by walking, biking, carpooling or using public transportation to commute. Business associates can communicate with one another through conference calling services, such as OnConference. Instead of traveling for meetings, allow employees to telecommute part of the week and attend meetings through video conferencing or conference calls.
5. Use Recycled Supplies
Switch to environmentally friendly products whenever possible, especially non-toxic and recycled products. Opt for post-consumer waste products, such as paper towels, stationery and packaging materials. These are now priced competitively to non-recycled products. Small businesses can also consider making their own green cleaning supplies, such as a baking soda and water spray.
Green living has gotten a lot of attention when it comes to households, but businesses can do more to make the workplace eco-friendly – while saving time and money. Businesses, both large and small, can have a positive impact on the environment, even if it’s just changing from plastic bags to paper bags. These green changes can make a lasting impression on customers and will make the business become more eco-conscious. Every business has the responsibility to do their part for the environment and these greener business tips can help with starting those changes.
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