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From the Home Office to Main Street: The Ultimate Guide to Green Small Business!

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From the Home Office to Main Street: The Ultimate Guide to Green Small Business!

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: October 20, 2010 Updated: March 28, 2013

Going green isn't just the responsibility of big industry; small business makes up half of the nation's private workforce and likewise consume half of its energy sources. Yet many businesses are deferring any plans to-go gree' because they see it as a costly investment.

This'Ultimate Guide to Green Small Busines' strives to prove that even baby steps can make a difference' from encouraging telework policies to greening your home-based business' going green is't an expensive pipe dream, and can even save you money.

Here are some ideas, insights, and resources that can help your business play its part in greening America.

Develop a Plan That Works for Your Business

Green hype is everywhere, which is why i's important to understand the fundamentals of what being green means and then use very specific tactics and long-term strategies that work within the context of your business. This article'Greening Your Small Business: Go Beyond the Hype with a Plan that Works for You includes simple tips for building a green business strategy based on the concepts of reduce, recyle and reuse.

Home businesses can get in on the act too. Get tips in this article: Greening Your Home-Based Business - Saving $, Saving the Environment, and Building your Brand.

If you operate a franchise, or are thinking of becoming a green franchise owner, get more insight from franchise specialist Joel Libava in his guide - The Green Franchise Business Scene.

Save Money with Green Commuting and Green Fleets

Commuting is a hassle at the best of times, but taking advantage of teleworking options can help improve employee work life, their productivity and their carbon footprint. Even better for business owners, the federal government offers a variety of financial incentives to employers and employees to pursue green commuting options. Read Green Commuting Options - From Teleworking Programs to Transit and Ride Share Tax Incentives.

Another area that has a huge impact on the environment and your business bottom line is your business fleet. It needn't be so, because just a few simple measures - planning an efficient route or picking the right vehicle for the job - can help you save money and reduce carbon emissions. Read more in Greening Your Business Fleet - A 5 Step Approach that Can Save you Money.

Financing for Your Green Business Strategy

 

Green business has been on the political agenda for some time, and much of this has flowed over into action in the form of environmental grants, loans and tax incentives. Read more about these and other financing options in: Financing the Greening of Your Small Business.

Government Resources and Programs that Can Help

Business.gov's Green Business Guide includes a whole host of resources and initiatives that help small businesses expand their businesses while saving energy cost.

This particular guide - Ten Steps to adopt environmentally-friendly business practices - provides some important information on implementing an environmental strategy for your business and even becoming green-certified. If green product development is part of your strategy.

One particular government/industry initiative - the Climate Leaders Small Business Network - is operated by the EPA and provides assistance to small businesses to help them measure their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and set goals to reduce them, while reducing operational costs and gaining a competitive advantage. The goal is not to spend green but to save green. Read more about the initiative and how other small businesses have benefited in this article: Become an Environmental Leader - EPA Helps Small Business Reduce their Carbon Footprint.

Green Marketing

Tying your marketing efforts to your green business practices and products is a great way to demonstrate the social responsibility of your business. A large percentage of consumers are also willing to spend more on green products and services, if you can tie your green initiatives to the direct value they bring to your customers.

Be careful about the claims you make. Advertising and eco-labeling laws regulate this area. You can read more about these in Business.gov's Green Marketing Guide.

Learn from Others

To put all this together, here's an example of a business that not only produces a green, sustainable product - a re-useable lunch bag - but also practices being green across its entire operations. Read When it Comes to Green Business - Entrepreneurs are the Mother of all Invention to learn more.

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About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

As a business owner, I know that going green is important. In fact, part of my business is based on keeping ink cartridges out of our landfills. By refilling the ink/toner, we help save the landfills and help reduce the use of materials. It also helps save money. Going green is a win/win situation.
Its also about each of us making a small contribution by such small things as printing double sided and recycling ink cartidges. Dont think that this doesn't make a difference - it all adds up.qnups pensions
The most important way to do your part is to let your purchasing power make an impact. It seems every day it becomes a little more difficult to do so. However, whenever possible, I try to buy American and "green". This way I can feel better about my purchase's impact on the American economy, AND ecological concerns. For example, In my business I do a ton of printing. SO, I've actually found toner cartridges online that are remanufactured compatible(the core of the unit is reused) versions made in the US. Not only did I feel good about my purchase, but I actually saved money by doing so...so it's really a no-brainer. In a day and age where money shapes the world around us, our purchasing decisions will help shape the future. Our greatest power comes from educating and making these wise decisions.This post was edited to remove a link. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
Really great post, looking to present scenario of world, i feel people really love eco-friendly and green things or prodcuts.

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