The effects of global warming are upon us, whether we like it or not, and some may believe that corporations with more resources and more to lose should be tasked with changing their habits. Everybody is responsible for the environment, regardless of whether they own a small corner store or run a large farm outside of state borders. If you’re the only one making changes, you’re probably right. Everybody has equal responsibility in protecting the environment, and even small actions will have an impact on slowing down global warming’s looming threat.
When it comes to saving the planet, small business owners may not believe that their efforts make a difference. In addition to being good for the planet, going green as a business will boost your reputation and sales figures. Consider it this way:
Your two favorite supermarkets offer similar prices, but one has adopted a more environmentally friendly business model, including a ban on plastic bags and a reduction in the use of electricity. Which supermarket do you think you’re more likely to shop at?
Even if you don’t think your business has an impact on the planet, you should still make conscious changes to reduce global warming’s effects on our planet. Having trouble figuring out how you can help? You and your business can help save the planet by putting these “go green” ideas into practice.
Use rainwater tanks
People frequently make the mistake of believing water is limitless. After all, it covers the majority of the planet! The amount of energy required to pump water into your business, on the other hand, is remarkable, and water tanks are an excellent method to store rainwater for non-drinking uses. Consider how much money you could save by reusing rainwater; you’ll not only be helping the environment, but you’ll also be saving a penny or two! Water tanks, in general, don’t require much maintenance because they’re built to withstand a lot of weight, so you won’t have to worry about it taking up time that could be better spent running your business.
Consider an office share
If you’ve got a large space to run your business and little staff and machinery to fill it, then it’s likely you’re not only wasting valuable space, but you’re wasting energy lighting and heating a large space you don’t really need. Consider office sharing with another business to use up spare space and save money on energy. You could rent out a portion of your space or a few rooms at a time and make money to pay for the energy being used (and then some). AND, you can help contribute to the environment by housing two businesses in one space.
Install solar panels
Solar panels are a fantastic way to help save the environment because they create their own electricity from the most natural source available – the sun! The expense of solar panels is the only disadvantage. Installing them can be costly, but rest assured that they are well worth the expense. Here are some user experiences from around the world:
- The money saved on electricity costs allowed solar panels to pay for themselves within a year.
- Because of the amount of energy created, their electricity bill was practically non-existent over the summer.
- They don’t require much in the way of upkeep. In fact, they just need a professional inspection once or twice a year. Typically, the firm that installed your solar panels will provide this service for free.
Solar panels, as you can see, are well worth the investment, and not just for your wallet! Consider how much energy you could save as a company and how the adjustments you’ve made will help future generations.
Take the leap and go paperless
When you’re running a business there are hundreds if not thousands of documents falling through your letterbox each month, and as you know this is very harmful to the environment. Did you know that per tree (on average) you get between 10,000 and 20,000 sheets from it? Think of how many trees that you, as a business, are cutting down each year!
Luckily, pretty much every supplier you come across now has the option to go paperless, meaning that instead, you’ll receive your documents via email. Sure, your email account will be flooded and will need to be manned, but think of how many trees you’ll be saving by making this change alone. Not only that, having a document in digital form is less likely to become lost than one that’s in paper form. Go paperless!
Introduce a carpooling scheme
Traveling to and from work can be inconvenient. With a rush hour and having trouble finding a parking spot, it’s easy to question whether owning a car is even worth the trouble. If you have a group of ten people and they all arrive by car, you can only imagine how much fuel (and additional cars on the road) is used unnecessarily. Wherever practical, implement a carpooling scheme at work and encourage employees who participate. You’ll soon realize that as a group, you’re helping to save the environment and reduce stress during rush hour, not to mention the money you’ll save!
Ditch the nasty chemicals
It’s odd to imagine that a product that can help us get rid of germs in our homes and workplaces can also harm the environment so badly. Cleaning chemicals are extremely damaging to the environment and should be replaced with greener cleaning products wherever possible. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also notice that the risk of skin irritation and toxic gases inhalation is significantly reduced.
Switch to organic ingredients
If you own or manage a restaurant, you can make a difference here as well. Did you know that non-organic fruits and vegetables have been sprayed with herbicides and insecticides to maintain their appearance? While there is some rationality there, the toxins from these chemicals (much like cleaning products) are depleting our ozone quicker than we can react. Switching to organic ingredients will not only help a good cause, but you’ll also find that the products are tastier and more appealing in the long term.
Ditch the plastic carrier bags
Carrier bags are useful. They help us in transporting our groceries, dollar store purchases, and shopping spree finds back home. Plastic carrier bags, on the other hand, are extremely bad for the environment since they take so long to decompose. Furthermore, did you know that approximately eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean? Consider how many animals are suffering as a result of this! The majority of stores have already done so, and you should too! Instead of using plastic carrying bags, offer your clients the option of purchasing a reusable (and replaceable) bag that will last them a lifetime.
Your customers may not be as enthusiastic about going green as you are, but you could use incentives to persuade them otherwise. Offering a significant discount to clients who bring their own bags or reusable coffee mugs, for example, is likely to motivate people to change their bad habits and help save the world.
Host “go green” events
Finally, setting aside event days for you and your team to do something good for the environment will encourage others to follow suit. You may spend the day picking up garbage, handing out bags for life, or even cleaning up your local river or stream.
Remember that every action you do to help the environment counts, and by working together, we can slow down the process and impacts of global warming!
Jessi is a working mom to two living in Central Florida. She has a Master’s Degree in Legal Studies but decided to make her career in social media marketing and content writing. When she isn’t cooking up something new in the kitchen, she is traveling with her family and looking for new adventures!