In the past, incorporating environmentally friendly practices into your business could be costly. Though the benefits for the environment were documented, many green products were expensive. As the movement has developed over time and technology has become further ingrained in the everyday workflow, more tools are available to make your business environmentally friendly without breaking the bank.
The Green Office
When shopping for stationary and office supplies, you have a wealth of opportunity to incorporate more green practices into your business. TheGreenOffice.com helps you to narrow down your supply search to only those products that are green and sustainable, including everything from paper basics to computer hardware. The site also includes tips and tricks to help keep your office running smoothly with a focus on environmental protection.
Energy Star for Small Business
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program offers free tools for small businesses in order to help you monitor your energy usage, limit your carbon footprint, and reduce operating costs. The site includes various tips, instructions, and ideas for ways to save money, decrease your environmental impact, and ensure that your business operates as sustainably as possible.
This non-profit organization seeks to help businesses achieve leaner and greener processes, setting them apart from their competition. They provide green program assistance, working with businesses to decrease their impact on the environment. Green Seal also offers sustainability certification to encourage a long-term focus on green practices and to set your organization’s intentions apart from the competition.
Regardless of office size, most organizations throw away or recycle a significant amount of paper each year. While larger organizations may have a large budget for resources, smaller businesses feel the impact of this wastefulness more strongly. GreenPrint provides organizations with tools to monitor print volume and suggestions for how to reduce the amount of print waste and conserve energy and money. Many of these tools will also lead to a more streamlined workflow.
Free Programs Promoting Centralized IT Control
Software companies such as LocalCooling.com and Granola Software help you to conserve energy and promote green practices by providing you the ability to centrally control computers on a network. This allows you to turn off all computers in a network when they are not in use, helping you to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint.
Computer Hardware Recycling Programs and Websites
There are various free online resources that focus on connecting people who have items to sell or give away with people who are searching for similar items. Sites such as Freecycle and Craigslist allow consumers to search for the product they are looking for and find others in the area who are getting rid of a similar item. This can help keep costs down and reduces the waste created by disposing of computers. The EPA’s eCycling program is another free option for users to donate old computers and hardware that can then be used by others. Apple and other computer companies have recycling programs that allow users to move unwanted hardware in a way that has minimal environmental impact.
CocaCola Bin Grant Program and Local Recycling Programs
If you run a non-profit organization, you may be eligible to receive free recycling bins for paper, cardboard, plastic, and aluminum waste. You can apply at BinGrant.org. Many local municipalities provide free recycling bins upon request. Check with your local and state government to see if this is an option for your organization.
Guest post contributed by Hayley Spencer, on behalf of Environmental-law.lawyers.com, providers of legal help and resources on various topics, including Environmental law.