11 Ways to Green Your Business

Going green” – everyone is talking about it, but where do you start? Big ideas can be simple and practical. And the benefits – helping the environment, boosting employee morale, unifying your team and giving a marketing boost to your brand – make the effort worthwhile. Let’s look at how it can be done.

  1. Communicate cleaner. Choose e-mail as your preferred method of communication and put a note in the signature line that says, “Please consider the environment before printing.” If you must print, switch to double-sided printing. Save a tree!
  2. Go green. Improve your air quality and add some peaceful ambiance with indoor plants. Find your ideal leafy companions (www.bit.ly/CleanHouseplants).
  3. Use natural lights. Even if you don’t have a window on every wall, you can use compact fluorescent bulbs or LED lighting to decrease power consumption and soften the atmosphere in your office. The lighting industry is taking the lead on this one.
  4. Get involved. Participate in community-wide, volunteer-based cleanups or other events. Share your involvement on social media to spread the word and make your employees proud.
  5. Market electronically. Reach your customers through their smartphones and social media. Take your periodicals and newsletters online. If you must print, reduce your paper size and advertise with augmented reality. It’s a great way to expand the impact of your content without the waste.
  6. Be a paper towel protector. For your last bit of inspiration, check out Joe Smith’s TED Talk about the most effective use of a single paper towel (www.bit.ly/JoePaperTowel). Then go out there and find your own way to own the green!
  7. Go paperless. It takes a lot of paper, ink, and power, not to mention mailing costs to produce paper statements. It’s safer and greener to switch to e-statements. Receive e-mail alerts when statements are available, then view and save them online. Learn more about paper reduction (www.bit.ly/PaperReduction).
  8. Set up a collection. What better way to stir up positive marketing mojo than to set a bin out and advertise that you are collecting used batteries? Improve the environment and your business!
  9. Party green without spending the green. Yes, it’s comfortable to go with plastic cups and utensils, paper plates, and decorations for your office events. Next time a birthday rolls around, try an outdoor picnic that serves finger foods or use compostable serving products. Celebrate naturally!
  10. Limit air conditioning. Yes, we are in Florida but a little goes a long way. Remember to turn down the air conditioning every time you leave the office. It’s cool to be green.
  11. Recycle. Okay, it’s unavoidable to generate some paper waste, but you can get clever about what you do with it. Purchase recycling bins for $6-$7 at Office Depot and placing them at every desk. Encourage employees to use the blank sides of used papers for notes, or make a notepad out of them. Get creative!