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Quick Tips for Greening Your Small Business

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Quick Tips for Greening Your Small Business

By kmurray, Contributor and Moderator
Published: April 21, 2014

Being “green” or environmentally friendly is probably not a new idea to you as a small business owner. In the last few years especially, the discussion of green business practices, services and products has become so prevalent that it’s often no longer the exception – but expected – to run a more earth-conscious operation. Consider these ways to green your business without breaking the bank.

Reduce travel with virtual meetings

Do you find yourself traveling for business or to meet clients? Consider reducing the number of in-person meetings you might do and go virtual instead! You’ll reduce your fuel consumption, which is good for you and the environment. Plus you’ll save money with all the free online conferencing tools available. A number of free and low-cost web-based sharing sites have features that allow you to video conference, share screens, use text chats, upload documents, simulate a white board and more. An added bonus? Think of the time you’ll save by not hitting the pavement.  

Ditch the disposables (cups, cutlery, etc.)

Did you know that in just one year, the average American office worker goes through around 500 disposable cups? It’s also been reported that Americans throw out enough paper disposable cups, forks and spoons every year to circle the equator 300 times! But you can make it easier to not be a part of this statistic in the workplace.

Instead of supplying the office with paper and plastic goods for coffee and lunches, switch to cutlery you’ll keep! Sure, you might spend a few more dollars up front establishing a stock of cups, plates and silverware – but you’ll make that money back and keep more trash from landfills. Looking for an even better deal? Visit a discount or thrift store to score your new kitchenware for less than you might pay otherwise.

Save energy – with paper!

Sure, you’ve heard about using sleep modes for devices and unplugging when electronics aren’t in use. But did you know that your business' paper use is another area to save energy? Paper manufacturers in the U.S. consume a significant amount of energy each year producing paper. Then there’s the energy spent harvesting and shipping trees, and shipping paper products to your business!

To optimize your use of this valuable resource, be sure to use double-sided printing and copying. Even better – distribute or reference documents electronically instead, if possible. When making your paper purchases, select products with a high recycled content; then continue the trend and recycle as much of it as you can when you’re through!

This is just the beginning of what you can do to have a “greener” business operation. For more tips and insight, check out SBA’s energy efficiency and green business guides. From energy savings calculators to industry-specific materials and more, you’ll find a wealth of information about being an environmentally responsible small business owner.

Related Resources

About the Author:

Katie Murray

Contributor and Moderator

I am an author and moderator for the the SBA.gov Community. I'll share useful information for your entrepreneurial endeavors and help point you in the right direction to find other resources for your small business needs. Our ongoing goal is to improve this site to meet your needs, so we're happy to receive your feedback and participation. Thanks for joining our online Community here at SBA.gov!

Comments:

Going green isn't really about being earth-conscious. I mean, sure, you can do it for the fact of being less toxic to the environment, but even if you don't care about it, it's still preferable to do so. There are only benefits to going green: 1. Reduce costs greatly and save on energy 2. Use it in your marketing campaigns - it counts and people prefer the green alternative, should all other factors par up. At my company we do almost everything online - communication, file sharing, storing information and data and 80% of our marketing efforts go online as we focus on the web. We only use the printer for forms, leaves and other documents that are less secure to manage online. The kitchen is equipped with reusable utensils only. We even went as far as switching our mineral water dispensers for ones that connect to the tap directly, thus eliminate delivery of water kegs.
What an excellent article! I think it's great that businesses overall are now becoming more "green" as a rule, rather than an exception. I'll be sure to implement some of these tips around the office.
Great article! As more consumers desire to choose environment friendly products and services, green marketing can be a positive tactic for small businesses to add to their overall marketing strategy.
This is a remarkable strategy to encourage small business owners while eliminating their vulnerabilities regarding timely payments. It is definitely something that would benefit small business owners.
Becoming a green business not only helps protect the environment, it is also a good business. As more consumers desire to choose environment friendly products and services, green marketing can be a positive tactic for small businesses to add to their overall marketing strategy. First steps for marketing actions can be as simple as choosing to do more online marketing as opposed to direct mail, printing on recycled paper or choosing to work with local suppliers. All of these actions can be part of our marketing messages and branding to demonstrate our green business practices. Please review our Community Best Practices for more information about how best to participate in our online discussions. Thank you.
A few extra easy ways to save energy: Replacing old lightbulbs with energy efficient ones, turning off computers rather than leaving them running, and taking an active roll in recycling (you'd be surprised how many offices pay little to no attention to recycling).
Hello, these are some good tips to make our businesses greener and more earth friendly. 1. I have reduced travel with virtual meetings. I use web sharing sites for video conferences with partners in other cities and countries. 2. I use ceramic cups instead of plastic disposable ones 3. I do single sided printing but I use the other side to write notes and stuff.
The ideas shared for making revolutionary green changes is truly enterprising, there can be more than above ways to stop degradation of our earth. if we take those measure now then we cannot only expect a better future tomorrow but also betterment of our work too. Hats off to SBA's initiative towards bringing new hope to mankind.

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