This is how your small business can go green and benefit from it

As a business owner, you have a legal responsibility to make sure that your company complies with the environment protection rules, regulations and restrictions, which penetrate into many areas of small business operation. When conducting your activities, you need to be cautious of legislation related to the emissions into the air, safe waste storage and disposal, recycling and biodiversity preservation, pollution incidents’ prevention and elimination, etc.

However, being environmentally conscious and abiding by the legislative norms isn’t completely the same as implementing green practices into your operation. Unfortunately, most companies hardly manage to meet the minimal government standards and, due to the internal organization and financial management issues, aren’t rushing to go green.

Luckily, small businesses are much more flexible when it comes to making certain decisions and changing their performance approaches, they have an opportunity to become eco-friendly and contribute to environment protection in the shortest period of time. Considering the fact that the demand for green products and services is constantly increasing and that more and more customers tend to support small companies and brands implementing green practices, this decision will also lead to significant financial benefits and determine the future of your company.

Thus, if you’re an environmentally cautious small business owner and you want to make your company’s operation safer for the environment, these tips will help you reach that goal.

Ways your small business can go green

Control your resource spending

There’re numerous techniques you may implement in your daily operation to reduce your business’s consumption of water, energy and other resources:

· replacing light bulbs with energy efficient ones;

· installing motion sensors for automatic light shut-off to eliminate the waste of electricity;

· managing the working time of office computers and turning them to the sleeping mode when not in use;

· buying energy efficient equipment for your operation

· offering energy efficient products and technologies to your customers (for instance, if you’re

· reducing water consumption in office toilets by installing low-flush and half-flush ones;

· installing low-flow aerators on faucets to minimize the amount of water that ends up being wasted;

· controlling thermostat settings in summer (most offices are guilty of making the temperature too hot in winter and too cold in summer, which results in higher electricity bills; people who have to work in that office don’t appreciate the ‘generosity’ as well — they have to dress lighter when it’s freezing outside and bring sweaters to the office in summer);

· choosing multifunctional equipment to minimize the number of electricity-powered things;

· when purchasing materials required to perform a certain order (for instance, you’re an owner of a small roof installation and repair company and you need to stock up for your next house roofing project), try to calculate the amount of materials you need as precisely as possible to eliminate ‘extras’, which eventually get thrown away;

· another eco-friendly way to purchase materials — encourage your customers to go for environmentally friendly options by providing a small discount;

· opt for restorable resources.

Go green in the office

If your small business has an office or you’re an owner of a shop, café or other similar service-oriented institution, you may improve your daily practices and make your business space more eco-friendly. Even the smallest things you can do to make your company produce less waste and

· replace paper towels with hand dryers or reusable cloth towels (you may also ask the members of your staff bring their own towel);

· purchase office supplies made of recycled materials;

· switch to electronic document management to use less paper and printer ink;

· buy green, natural cleaning products;

· buy things in bulk to reduce the packaging waste;

· get rid of plastic plates, cups and cutlery and encourage your workers to use traditional, reusable coffee mugs;

· if you can’t avoid printing something out, use both sides of the sheet and opt for a smaller font;

· do more things online — arrange Skype meetings or telephone conferences instead if driving to the meeting and wasting petrol, use online marketing technologies and contractor referral services instead of traditional advertising that produces a lot of paper waste;

· store your data in online clouds instead of using hard copies and numerous hard drives for that matter;

Consider solar power

Switching to solar power is a great way to make your business green. Even through this transition requires a substantial financial investment, this one-time contribution will allow for enormous savings and the use of green, inexhaustible source of energy. Moreover, you may file for a state program that grants money to businesses, who decide to implement eco-friendly energy technologies and provide green services.

Purchase second-hand

It’s not always possible, especially if you’re looking for something specific, modern or energy efficient. However, if you stop worrying about the looks and chasing trends, you will be able to save a lot of money and reduce the waste generated by new production.

This behavior will decrease the demand for new office appliances, furniture, decor, tools you need to provide services of your specialization. Consequently, you will contribute to the reduction of excessive waste, air and water pollution most modern factories still cause. Maybe, your decision to buy second-hand won’t have immediate effects, but, it will totally make a difference in the long run.

Shift your focus to producing eco-friendly products and services

Starting a green business that concentrates on producing products and services without damaging the environment in the process and developing eco-friendly products is the ultimate way to go green. These days, there’s a green option for almost each kind of business — roofing, general construction, pet services, etc.

As I’ve already mentioned, ‘green’ is the new trend a lot of customers choose to buy even despite the higher cost. I won’t deny that building a green business is quite challenging. But it’s also a rather rewarding undertaking that promises significant financial benefits and contributes to the brighter future of our planet.

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