by Jeff Schuman
Because more consumers every day are looking for ways to become environment friendly, local businesses should be promoting what they’re doing to become more “green”.
Striving to become a green business is a good thing for companies to do for at least three reasons:
- Becoming more environmentally sound is good is good for our planet.
- It can be a money saver in many ways.
- It may be the deciding factor for customers in choosing them over their competition.
So what is it that you can realistically do and actually achieve, in addition to measuring its effectiveness? Here are four relatively basic and simple things that almost any small local business should be able to implement and then promote to their employees and customers:
- Don’t leave computers on at night or weekends if they’re not in use. It’s estimated that a business can save $40 to $50 per year per computer.
As for the environment, if all businesses would take on this challenge we could drastically cut electricity usage. This in turn would decrease the amount of coal needed which could help preserve more landscapes and ecosystems.
- Make sure lights are turned off when not in use. Based on a lot of averages (cost of a kilowatt hour of energy, type of bulbs used, length they’re left on, etc.) a company can expect to save approximately $24 per light bulb if they’re turned off at night and on weekends. The light bulbs will also last longer, saving you even more in replacement costs.
For the environment, less electricity used once again lowers the demand for coal. Some light bulbs contain mercury, so fewer bulbs used means less mercury going to landfills.
- Use both sides of the paper to print on. If this isn’t something you’re currently doing, then you can cut your paper use in half. The money saved gives you more opportunities to grow your business in other ways. The environment is aided because fewer trees need to be cut down, saving wildlife habitats and energy used in the paper-making process.
- Give thought about the need to print something before doing so. Cutting down on printing documents can save even more money on paper costs and also on toner and printer service. Ironically, paper consumption has actually gone up the past few years even though we’re in the era of the “paperless office.” The environmental impact: The obvious is in the paper and energy savings, but ink cartridges also create a lot of waste and damage to the environment if not disposed of properly.
Once these four things are implemented and employees are on board, local businesses should be touting what they’re doing and challenging customers to follow suit. Individually, customers may not see the amount of savings as businesses. But by doing these same four things they can collectively have a huge positive effect on the environment.