Starting Sustainability in Your Small Business
So you’ve just started your new business, or you’ve been established for some time and you’ve decided to take the leap of faith and make your business more sustainable. Why would you even want to do this, and how do you make it happen?
Being sustainable (or ‘Going Green’ if you want to be trendy) can offer many benefits; most importantly it helps your business save money while giving you that warm fuzzy feeling knowing you’re doing your part to help save our planet.
Here are 5 quick tips on how you can increase sustainability within your business or organisation –
1. CONSERVE ENERGY & RESOURCES
Electricity, temperature and water are necessary overheads for most businesses. Switch your light bulbs to energy-saving ones like LEDs. Turn off your AC/heating units when not in the room. Be sure to put your computers and other equipment on Sleep Mode when not in use. Install low-flow faucets and get a water tank to gather rainwater.
By aiming to monitor and conserve these valuable resources you can save on your energy bills and do your bit for the environment at the same time.
2) LET'S GO PAPERLESS
While we love a good book or magazine as much as anyone out there; the reality of our digital age means paper is fast becoming an impractical item in the workplace. Why take up physical space when there’s so much virtual space available?
Aim to keep your correspondence and documents in the digital realm as much as possible. When paper is needed (an entirely paperless world is some ways off!) try to use recycled paper where less harmful chemicals and fewer trees have been used in the production process.
3) USE REUSABLE ITEMS
While our World would be a very different place without plastic; single-use plastic is by far one of the greatest threats to our environment currently. Why is it a problem? Plastic isn’t biodegradable, and this creates a vast array of issues.
Help to reduce waste and save money by encouraging your employees to bring their own reusable lunch containers, mugs and cutlery to the office. Be sure to say no to single-use plastic items such as cups and straws as these most likely end up in a landfill; adding to the problem instead of the solution.
4) SUPPORT LOCAL VENDORS & PRODUCERS
Set a goal to purchase from local vendors and producers whenever possible. This keeps money circulating within the local economy and can save your business time and money, as shipping costs would be removed from the process.
5) GET INVOLVED
Make sure you and your employees get involved with a local sustainable organisation or community service to keep the cycle of learning and spreading green practices going.
These types of engagements are great for building team morale, and you get the added benefit of joining a network of like-minded people who want to make our world a greener (and better!) place.
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