Many small business owners may think that their businesses don’t have a big impact on the environment, but sadly this is rarely the case. In reality most small businesses do have a negative effect on the environment, especially if they have a physical location (such as an office or a workshop with employees).
Thankfully it is very easy to make your business more eco-friendly – you just need to make a few small (but significant!) changes. These changes don’t cost the earth, and they will help to make the day-to-day running of your business much greener.
Here are five tips to help you run a more eco-friendly business.
1. How To Run An Eco-Friendly Business: Use Reusable Or Green Office Supplies
One simple way to make your business more environmentally friendly is to start using reusable office supplies. Every day over five million pens are thrown away, but you can reduce this by using reusable pens that can be refilled with ink when they are empty. This will stop your business adding extra plastic to landfills, and it also works out cheaper in the long run.
You can also start using green office supplies, such as compostable bin bags and hand dryers. This will further reduce the plastic and paper that is added to British landfills.
2. Choose Eco-Friendly Web Hosting
Many people don’t think of web hosting as an environmental problem, but in reality they do contribute. In fact, all of the servers running in America are equal to running at least five nuclear power plants, which is pretty significant!
Luckily there are lots of green web hosts that are powered by renewable energy (such as solar or wind). You can make the switch at any time, and if you sign a long-term contract you may even get a discount. This web hosting can be used by you, your team and your virtual support team.
3. Replace Broken Appliances With Eco-Friendly Appliances
You can also replace any broken appliances with eco-friendly options. Most modern electronic devices come with an energy star rating to show you how efficient they are, so it is easy to choose the greenest option when you are looking for a replacement. Sure, it might not be financially viable to replace electronics while they are still working, but when they become unusable it will be very simple to find an eco-friendly replacement.
4. Plant Trees And Shrubs
You can also increase your businesses positive impact by planting trees and shrubs outside your workplace (or your home, if you work from home!). Research has found that planting trees and shrubs has truly ‘mind blowing potential’ in the battle against climate change, and it is very easy and cheap to do; you just need to buy seeds or small trees that you can plant outside. This will produce oxygen for the environment, improving air quality and combating your businesses Co2 output. Simple!
And if you have a virtual support team, no worries; the lack of office space is already reducing your environmental impact (and if you really want, you could ask your virtual support team to plant some shrubs at their own workplaces!).
5. Don’t Discard – Donate!
Finally you can donate old items, instead of throwing them away. Old office supplies, furniture and stationary can all be donated to companies who will give them to charities such as the Red Cross, which means you are helping to reduce other businesses environmental impact. Doing this will also show the public that you are a caring, green business who wants to help charities in the area – so it is a win-win situation for any business owner!