America tosses out a whopping 230 million tons of garbage each year. As a business owner, you have the power to create and influence positive change. By following the three Rs of the Waste Hierarchy (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle), you can help protect the environment while modeling greener behavior for the public at the same time.
If you haven’t already done so, swap your fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs for LEDs. It will cost more up front, but the payoff will be significant. Your LEDs will use far less energy than your previous bulbs and they don’t contain mercury or other toxic gases. They’ll last about five times longer too.
Plastic consumption is a major drain on our environment. Do your part by eliminating the ubiquitous water bottle from your workplace and replacing it with a water filtration system for all of your employees to enjoy. Let your workers drink fresh, clear water without the mess and the guilt of all those plastic bottles.
Did you know those fresh-smelling cleaning products you use in your office can also expose you and your employees to harsh toxins and chemicals? Choose biodegradable, environmentally friendly cleaners to keep your workplace clean and green. The price tag might be a bit steeper, but most green cleaning products are concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way.
Spread the greenness by using vendors who follow similar practices. Ask your vendors if they use fuel-efficient delivery vehicles and if their manufacturing plants are environmentally friendly.
Think three times before pressing “print” at work. In our tech-heavy offices, hardly anything actually needs to be on paper.
When you do need to print something, use recycled paper. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a recycling symbol on a box of paper means it’s actually recycled; that symbol isn’t regulated. Instead, look for the PCW (Post-Consumer Waste Fiber content) logo. This will tell you how much of the product is made from recycled paper.
Recycling goes well beyond plastic and cardboard boxes. When you need to purchase new furniture for your workplace, check out sites like Craigslist and eBay before paying full price for a new piece. You’ll save money and do your part in reusing and recycling instead of filling landfills with perfectly good items.
Let your customers know about your mission to help the environment by sharing your green practices. Also, invite them to share their tips on going green at work from time to time. You’ll attract the eco-conscious client and inspire your entire customer base to reduce waste while preserving more energy.
Making your business greener is easier (and cheaper) than you think. With a few simple changes, your workplace can be environmentally friendly while helping to make the world a cleaner and safer place.
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