Let’s face it – we only have one Earth and we need to make sure our home remains beautiful not only for ourselves, but several generations to come. Check out these four way you can improve your small business not only for the environment but also to benefit your employees and yourself. It's a win-win-win!
One of the easiest ways to go green is to go digital. Not only will this reduce your carbon footprint and reduce paper costs, toner, printer, and mailing costs but it will help you stay organized and optimize workflows.
Paperless billing will help you send invoices to clients and customers faster while also reducing paper and shipping fees.
Updating your mailing lists to digital subscriptions only will also reduce the amount of physical paper mail your receive while also making sure you don't lose access to those accounts or that content.
These are all easy and efficient ways for a small business to be green and it won't impact their bottom line.
Become Energy Efficient
Energy efficiency requires you to be aware of how and where you are using energy.
Turning off your electronics when you're not using them and stringing them together on power strips makes it easier to organize and manage when turning off and unplugging electronics during off hours.
If powering down electronics isn't an option for your business, consider putting an monitors and PCs on sleep mode when not in use and during off hours. Electronics manufacturers are becoming savvier in how they build their tech and many PCs, monitors, even Bluetooth keyboards and mice can detect when they are not in use and put themselves into sleep mode. Investing in energy efficient appliances will definitely help you cut down cost over time.
Consider Workplace Alternatives
If your business lends itself towards working from home, even on an occasion, allowing employees to work from home can significantly reduce costs in an office since less energy will be used. Additionally, your employees will reduce their carbon footprint since they won't be commuting back and forth to work.
If several of your employees live close-by, try to encourage them to bike to work. Carpooling is another way to encourage your employees to reduce their carbon footprint and it will boost employee camaraderie.
If you ever have to travel to meetings or have people travel to meet with you, consider having those meetings online instead to cut down on transportation.
For many start-ups and smaller businesses that don't require a whole lot of overhead, working from home could be a permanent solution. You can cut down on your use of resources by simply collaborating with your team online or using coworking spaces. Coworking spaces are a great resource for small teams providing anything from just working desk space all they way to entire suites dedicated to a business.
Begin Making Lifestyle Changes
By making small creature comfort changes to your workplace, not only will you be providing a better workspace for your teams, but you will also start supporting local businesses in your community and beyond.
You can start by supporting local vendors and businesses in your area. If there are food trucks nearby, organize a team lunch so everyone can enjoy local fare. Buying fair trade coffee, such as City Girl Coffee, founded by recent On The Dot Woman to Watch, Alyza Bohbot, is another great option to upgrade your in-office amenities and go green.
If your office space allows, consider growing a rooftop garden or a green space in other outdoor space that are available. Not only would this allow your team to enjoy a green space, but it could also contribute to a fun team collaboration as well.
Today's Woman to Watch is Tara Houska, the national campaign director for Honor the Earth, a Native-led organization, established by Winona LaDuke and Indigo Girls Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, in 1993. She was also an adviser to Bernie Sanders during his presidential bid in 2016 and she was instrumental in the Dakota Access Pipeline Protest, having lived on the Standing Rock encampment until she was arrested and thrown in to a dog cage in 2016.
Read all about her heroic and inspiring story by clicking here or listen by streaming Four Minutes with On The Dot on any of your favorite podcast streaming services!