For those of you that know Sesame Street, what did Kermit the Frog often say at the beginning of his singing? “It’s not easy being Green.” So to turn your business Green you have to work hard and work smart. The rewards, however, are huge and pay off dividends for years (and generations) to come.
Did you know that small businesses amount to almost half of the United States energy consumption. That’s why it’s imperative we all take some responsibility in educating our peers and changing the way we do business.
Here are some tips to make your business Greener.
- Get an energy audit of your business.
- There are many firms that specialize in performing energy audits. We recommend to do a web search for an auditor in your area. A national energy auditor such as www.abraxasenergy.com can also help you audit your business. An energy audit may reveal ways in which your business is paying for wasted water, electric, and heating and cooling system resources.
- Get Your Company On Board
- The first and easiest way to get your company on board is to educate your employees on the current waste issues of your firm. Start with a quick recycle program and install recycle cans throughout the office. Contact your local recycle company for recycle pickup instructions and times.
- How does your business use paper, ink cartridges, plastics, or other perishable goods. Determine if you can reduce quantities of these items used, or maybe re-use certain items. Instead of printing off digital messages, digitally store on a server or cloud storage system. If you have to print, maybe print on both sides of the paper. If you ship products, find better packaging alternatives that are biodegradable.
- Ask your employees for suggestions. This is a great way to get your employees involved in something that can save your business money while also reducing your business carbon footprint. Some business owners offer incentives to employees that can save the most money in their effort to become Green.
- Turn Everything Off
- Believe it or not, one of the simplest ways to save energy is to just shut off the lights or computers when not in use. Most employees leave their lights on in their office when at lunch or even when leaving for the day. In almost all cases, employees leave their monitors and computers on. Create a company policy to have each employee put their computers into hibernation or sleep mode while also turning off their monitors. Make sure all lights are turned off when the last person leaves the office. Set the AC on a reasonable temperature when you are about to leave. These simple changes will go a long way in your energy bill.
- Commuting to work could be one of the best ways to expend less energy. Find out who lives near you and plan commute days to work. In many cities you can also find trains that commute to and from major commercial areas of town. Trains are a great way to not only save gas but also to increase your work efficiency. Most people can now work on their laptops or Tablets to get work done while commuting. As an employer find ways to give incentives to employees that commute.
- Equipment Replacement and/or Donation
- Old equipment sometimes is less efficient than newer equipment. Determine if it is reasonable to replace older equipment. Don’t throw away the older equipment. There are local companies which will pick up old equipment just for the value of its components. Most old equipment has value in the metal components. These metals will be melted and resold to manufacturers. In some cases you can donate equipment to a religious organization, elderly care center, or homeless shelter. There are plenty of people that will benefit from its use.