As a Small Business Owner, we all want to have a happy and healthy company financially but there are other factors that can help you achieve your goals of running a successful business. One aspect is to think about ways to help your company be Earth Friendly and include it in your business plan.
Teach yourself and your employees simple and easy ways to create an eco-friendly office environment.
Issue: Too Much Paper UseSolution: Go paperless by saving your work on the cloud. If you do need to print, consider defaulting your print double-sided printing.
2. Electricity Waste
Issue: Electronics that are left plugged in overnight/all the time. These devices are still draining energy even if not in use, sometimes called “Standby Power” or “Phantom Power.” Whatever you want to call it, energy is being used and your business is paying for it.
Solution: Get in the habit of unplugging your electronic devices before leaving the office. If that isn’t the right solution, invest in Smart Power Cord Strips. Smart power strips can be used to control devices, including coffee machines, space heaters, printers, water coolers, and computer monitors plus more.
Issue: Cost of electricity
Solution: See if setting the thermostat a few degrees up or down causes any reaction with employees. This can include not only heat and A/C (if employees are bundled up in the summer, recheck your thermostat setting immediately) but also check on the refrigerator settings too.
4. Old Electronics & Cords
Issue: Clutter, Disorganization, Waste
Solution: Donate or Recycle. See if there are any buy-back programs in your area.
5. Paper Towels
Issue: Single use, lots of waste & expense.
Solution: Use microfiber cloths instead.
Issue: Most sponges are oil based and can take thousands of years to decompose when sent to a landfill (where most of them end up). Solution: Use natural fiber, plant based sponges instead.
Issue: Paper plates are single use and most have some type of plastic coating or food waste such as grease, oils or other fluids that makes them “contaminated.” These items should not be thrown in with other “clean” paper such as magazines and copy paper.
Solution: Use ceramic plates that can be washed and reused. If that's not a viable/ feasible option, use compostable plates that will decompose in a much friendlier and faster way.
8. Plastic Utensils:
Issue: try to move away from single use plastic utensils
Solutions: invest in silverware for your company. If that is not a viable solution, then buy compostable utensils. There are some plant based options made from sugar cane and plant fibers.
9. Add a Set of Tupperware (or other reusable glassware) to your kitchen.
Issue: Food waste.
Solution: Rather than throwing away any leftovers from the company-wide catered lunch, save them in Tupperware. Put them in the office fridge and let everyone know the leftovers are for the taking.
10. Single Use Cups
Issue: Many are coated in plastic or are made of styrofoam, neither of which decomposes well in landfills.
Solution: BYORB - bring your own reusable bottle or coffee mug. You can also invest in a bottleless water dispenser for employees to use.
*Great idea for company holiday, thank you, birthday, or any day gifts - personalized mugs or reusable bottles with an employees name and company logo.