When it Comes to Green Business; Entrepreneurs are the Mother of all Invention
by Caron_Beesley, Community Moderator
- Created: April 7, 2010, 8:11 am
Green Biz Tips & Insights in Celebration of Earth Day
Earth Day 2010 is fast approaching, and the next few weeks will see a flood of activities and events as nearly one billion people across the globe prepare and plan for what organizers hope are;a billion acts of green
Of course, Earth Day is about more than one day- April 22' and for 40 years the event (now the largest secular civic event in the world) has focused on mobilizing individuals, communities and businesses to become consistently engaged and active in the environmental movement.
And while Earth Day events are taking place in communities worldwide, many notable brands are also committing to action. Big businesses such as eBay (the worl's largest seller of re-useable consignment) recently launched a massive campaign backed by its eBay Green Team* initiative that focuses on empowering consumers to make green purchasing decisions through the promotion of what it calls its'sustainable commerce experiences
However, making a commitment to truly sustainable and sustained green business practices on'Earth Day and Every Da' (to borrow the EP's Earth Day slogan) requires going beyond the hype' it requires vision, commitment and investment - and it's something small business does very well.
Making a Difference - One Small Business at a Time
Small businesses and entrepreneurs make up half of the nation's private workforce and likewise consume half its energy sources. But they are also the mother of all invention - and possess the flexibility, agility and local footprint that many larger companies do not, giving them the potential to reap a competitive advantage and large gains from environmentally-friendly business practices.
Case in point, here's an example of a phenomenal green small business success that started life, as many small businesses do, at the kitchen table.
The LunchSkins Story
Three mothers (calling themselves 3greenmoms), appalled by their families' plastic sandwich bag use (and the country's - estimated at more than 20 million a day), created LunchSkins* a company that produces and sells a unique product - a colorful, reusable, dishwasher-friendly sandwich and snack bag.
In just one year, 3greenmoms estimate that they
have saved more than 12 million plastic baggies from landfills. They have also committed to donating one percent of sales to local charities and, perhaps most illustriously, have attracted highly-targeted brand promotion from influential media big-hitters Martha Stewart and O- The Oprah Magazine.
Not only is the LunchSkins product itself developed with sustainability in mind, 3greenmoms are also committed to minimizing their carbon footprint across all aspects of their business. According to their Web site*, they use recycled materials for packaging and promotional materials and operate a paperless billing system. When it comes to the workplace, 3greenmom have installed compact fluorescent bulbs and low-flow faucets, and each partner either cycles to work or operates from home-based offices.
All relatively simple business choices, but they combine to create an alignment between a product and brand strategy that stresses the simplicity of making green choices every day at work and at home.
The Many Ways of Being Greening your Business
Even if you don't produce or manufacture a green product, there are many ways to introduce green business practices into your business operations - from running a green office or home office, to encouraging telework or telecommuting programs, to taking advantage of energy-efficient loans to upgrade your facilities.
Below are just some resources and insights from across Business.gov and the Business.gov Community to help you introduce simple acts of green into your small business.
A good place to start is with this overarching guide: 'Ten Steps to Adopt Environmentally-Friendly Business Practices' which provides information on implementing an environmental strategy for your business, including steps to becoming energy efficient, compliant with environmental regulations and a recognized 'green business.'
Also visit Business.gov's Earth Day - Take Action page which brings together a host of green business management, compliance and marketing resources in celebration of Earth Day.
Building a Green Business Strategy
- Greening Your Small Business: Go Beyond the Hype with a Plan that Works for You - This article guides you through the options for laying the ground work of sustainability and also suggests resources that can help you comply with environmental regulations that apply to your industry.
Green Business Financial Incentives and Loans
- Financing the 'Greening' of Your Small Businesses - From energy efficiency tax credits to small business grants for technology developers and innovators, this article outlines existing government programs and incentives to promote green business.
- Save Money Through Energy Efficiency Laws - Small businesses can cut more than 25% off of their energy expenses when they follow an energy saving plan. Read on to learn more about how to save money through energy-saving tax credits, grants and other incentives.
Green Business Tactical Approaches
Easy to implement tactics to help you and your employees operate a more sustainable work environment.
- Business Records - Save Money & Time by Going Paperless - Tips on assessing whether your business can go paperless and tips on fast and easy ways to start a paperless record system.
- Planning Environmentally Aware Events - Tips and advice from the EPA for hosting a meeting or event with green business practices in mind.
Green Business Information for Specific Industries
Whether you choose to produce, sell or market sustainable or organic products, these guides can help you understand the market opportunity and implement compliant business practices.
- Changing the Construction Landscape - Become a Green Building Leader
- Producing and Selling Organic Food Products - A Five Step Regulatory Primer
- Tips for Starting your Own Dog Treat Business - Healthy Dog Bakeries Done Right
*Note - Hyperlink directs reader to non-government Web site.
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