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Jan 15

5 Ways to Give Your Business a Green Makeover this Year

recycleWhile most people ring in the New Year with a list of resolutions for their personal life, the savvy entrepreneur will put that same amount of attention into resolutions for their business. After all, you spend a large part of every day at work, and much of the time when you aren’t actively working you’re still thinking about ways to make it succeed. And not all resolutions for your business should be financial. Just as you’re probably looking at ways to be more healthy this year, think about how you can do the same for your business. A more environmentally friendly company will impact the world in all sorts of ways. Anything sustainable you can do at work will lower your carbon footprint and hopefully rub off on your employees and by extension their families. So consider implementing any of these five ways to give your business a green makeover this year.

One of the biggest ways you can ‘greenify’ your company is by going paperless. Now this is easier than ever before. Institute a policy across the office of printing only when absolutely necessity, for mailers or presentations. Any communications within the office should be done through your networked computer systems. Ditch the filing cabinets and use cloud storage for your data. Even go with automated payroll, with stubs that are emailed to each employee. All it takes is a bit of forethought, but you’ll make a huge difference.

Next, consider how your company recycles. Most office buildings recycle these days, but there’s a big difference between doing the bare minimum and setting up an active recycling policy. Make sure each break room has separate bins for each type of recycling. And consider another bin for food waste, which you can then turn into compost. Don’t forget about office supplies as well. Set up bins for batteries and printer cartridges, and make sure any old computers are properly recycled instead of thrown in the dumpster.

This one won’t be a fit for every business, especially if you’re located in an urban center. But if most of your employees drive to work, consider putting together a commuting plan. You can use apps or computer software to organize employees by geographical location, and even offer bonuses or small prizes to the various commuting groups for certain benchmarks. If your company has enough employees to make it work, set up discount cards they can use for public transportation, to make these changes as much of a no-brainer as possible.

Although this will be a tough one, look for ways to power down office equipment when not in use. Perhaps you can set up lighting timers in the various break rooms and bathrooms, so you won’t waste light when no one is using the space. Put up reminders asking your employees to power down their computer equipment at the end of the day, and have your office manager unplug anything he or she can as well. You’ll cut your electric bill a significant amount, meaning you’ll help your bottom line while helping Mother Nature.

Finally, change things up in the lunch room. Encourage employees to bring their lunches from home instead of always getting take-out. That will save a ton of wasted paper and plastic. Stock the break room with paper products made from recycled material or even set it up so everyone has a dedicated set of real dinnerware and napkins. Buy branded coffee mugs to cut out paper cups, and look at the quality of the snacks you make available. You might be concerned about the price of these changes, as natural and organic products do tend to cost a bit more. Just put off getting that new wall piece from Neon Signs 4 U if that’s what it takes. Any of these efforts to make your business more green will generate far more revenue through goodwill than yet another piece of garish advertising.

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