As a small business, you may think “What difference can we really make to the environment?”
You may also think that some other sizes and types of businesses have more obvious connections to the environment than your business does.
But, just as each one of us individually makes a difference when we give blood, donate to a food bank or pick up a piece of trash, small businesses can make just a great an impact on the environment as they do to the health and vitality of the business community. And we all know that small businesses are the innovators and inspirers of growth in our local and national economies.
If you think about it, businesses and the environment are closely linked. Even if it is not through products and services that directly impact the environment, all businesses have impact through the way they operate and through their way employees live.
All businesses make choices to recycle or not, to use green cleaning products or not, to conserve energy and water or not, to put no-printing policies in place and to use recycled paper products when they do, to install solar energy panels or purchase energy efficient light bulbs, to encourage or provide alternative transportation for employees or even to reward employees for green practices in their homes.
Businesses can’t operate for long without clean water, clean air or a chemically stable atmosphere. By going over to the green side, your business becomes part of giving back instead of just consuming.
Improving your company’s environmental performance is good for business. Greening the way you operate makes you more efficient. You produce less waste, the more you decrease your negative impact on the environment. Going over to the green side means that you’re acting responsibly toward the environment and that promotes good will among all of the people that you serve, that you know and that you are visible to.
If you think you’re too small, just start making a list of the things – no matter how small they seem – that you can do now, next week and then next month to bring your company over to the green side. It won’t happen overnight but it can start tomorrow and grow right along with your business.
Seven Starting Steps to the Green Side:
1. Order recycled paper for your printers.
2. Put recycle containers in your offices and institute a recycling policy.
3. Add a green message to your email signature to avoid printing emails unless necessary.
4. Install automatic light switches in rooms such as bathrooms so lights only burn when the room is in use.
5. Eliminate paper storage of important documents by storing and backing them up electronically.
6. Purchase energy saving bulbs for your office.
7. Use environmentally safe cleaning products or make sure your cleaning service does
There is much more that can be done. These are seven easy things that any size or any type business can do to begin becoming green and helping to ensure that our environment and our natural resources can continue to support all our businesses.