How Your Small Business Can Become A Green Business

Build your corporate social responsibility by making your business greener. See how your business can go green with these simple tips. Put these tips into action to make your business green friendly.

Going green is in. President Obama is focusing attention and resources on green technology and our children are coming home from school with lessons and lectures on why going green is important. Perhaps you think that your business is just too small to make a green difference. Not true. There are many simple things your business can do to become greener.

What does it mean to be green?

In its simplest terms “being green” means using fewer natural resources to accomplish your tasks and selecting methods and materials that are sustainable. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science , “For many resources, the United States of America is the world’s largest consumer in absolute terms. For a list of 20 major traded commodities, it takes the greatest share of 11 of them: corn, coffee, copper, lead, zinc, tin, aluminum, rubber, oil seeds, oil and natural gas. For many more it is the largest per-capita consumer.” We consume a disproportionate share of tree pulp for paper and fresh water, too. Being a green business means using less.

Being green means recycling–paper, plastic, electronics, glass, aluminum, corrugated boxes.

Being green means using sustainable products–those that can be replenished such as: those that have been recycled, are plant-based, or organically grown.

What can your business do to be greener?

One of the first places to look for opportunities to become a green business is your budget and your routine expenditures for office supplies, equipment, utilities, and transportation. Each of these cost areas include products and best practices that can help your company be greener. And the great thing about going green is that it often saves money.

  • Use recycled office supplies. You can see some options at The Green Office and Green Earth Office Supply.
  • Recycle computers. Dell Computer offers an anytime recycling program. Or, donate your used computers rather than throw them away or store them forever.
  • Practice power management for computers and printers.
  • Make recycling easy. Check with your building manager or waste management company to get sufficient recycling containers and place conveniently so employees will encounter them during everyday work flow. Post a list of materials that may be recycled in employee common areas. Be a role model for recycling.
  • Save energy with compact florescent light bulbs.
  • If you own your building, be sure to use adequate insulation and weather protection. If you lease space, work with your building management to reduce energy loss.
  • Contact your local utilities and ask for an energy audit–usually free. They may have many recommendations to reduce your utility use and costs.
  • Reinforce fuel saving through flex time, four-day work weeks, or work-from-home programs.
  • Motivate your employees to come up with more green actions through rewards and recognition.

If you want more inspiration for your efforts to create a greener, more environmentally friendly company, you can download a copy of State of Green Business available from Green Biz. In this down-loadable report, you will see how other businesses are going green, learn about energy efficiency, and get examples of green-friendly office and manufacturing processes.

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