The statistics around pollution are frightening, and the news about climate change gets drearier every day. As a business owner, you have the opportunity to be part of the solution by building an eco-friendly business. The decisions you make about energy, water, and waste will have a significant impact on how customers perceive your company as well as providing serious savings to your bottom line.
There are a lot of ways to go green, from recycling paper to choosing an eco-friendly hosting platform like GreenGeeks Hosting. But what is the best way to start when you’re building a business? Read on for seven ways you can create a green business:
1. Use Sustainable Packaging
If you’re going to sell a product, then you must consider the packaging. To be an eco-friendly business, you need to ensure that you’re doing what you can to reduce the amount of energy, water, and waste generated from packaging products. To make this happen, you should first consider how to eliminate excess packaging. For the packaging itself you’ll want to avoid the following:
- Non-recyclable materials
- Plastics made from polyethylene
Instead, you should use:
- Post-consumer recycled polyethylene bags made from recycled waste
- Biodegradable plastics
- Recycled products
- Plant-based plastics.
2. Be Thoughtful About Paper Use
When possible, use digital means for record-keeping, forms, notetaking, etc. Consider how much of an impact it would make if you insisted that all newsletters be digital or that all meeting agendas be sent over email. If you did have to print something, you could insist on double-sided copies, and when you purchase the paper, you could choose to buy paper sold in boxes rather than shrink-wrapped. This would be not only good for the environment but would be cost-saving as well.
3. Choose Eco-Friendly Hosting for your Website
Most businesses require a website, and websites need to be hosted on the internet. There are a variety of web hosting service providers that you can choose to host your website; however, a business that is trying to be green should choose an eco-friendly web host. An eco-friendly web host is a web host that uses carbon offsets and renewable energy to alleviate its impact on the environment.
4. Manage your Lighting and HVAC with a Building Management System
A building management system (BMS) allows you to control your lighting and HVAC systems so that you’re only consuming as much energy as you need. In doing so, you can cut operational costs by up to 15%. There are even BMS’ that take advantage of strategic electrical tariff pricing. This means that they will lower energy output during peak times so that you won’t be charged as much on your energy bill.
5. Monitor your Water Consumption
Did you know that a dripping faucet can cause a loss of 10,000 liters a year, and a running toilet can lose 10,000 liters in a month? For this reason, it’s crucial that you consistently check your taps to make sure they’re not leaking. You may also want to consider installing low-flow toilets and waterless urinals to reduce further the amount of water your business consumes.
6. Buy Used
Instead of buying brand new office furniture, consider buying used or recycled furniture. This will save you money and reduce the need for a new item to be manufactured. Choosing secondhand furniture results in fewer carbon emissions, saves water, and reduces waste. It also keeps furniture from ending up in landfills, which reduces pollution.
7. Choose Fuel-and-Time Efficient Modes of Transportation
Whether it’s getting to and from work, purchasing goods or delivering products, look for a mode of transport that is time and fuel-efficient. This means shopping and delivering locally, minimizing the frequency of trips, carpooling, and using public transport.