Environmental issues are taking a front seat in the news, and humans are learning more about the environment and how what we do affects it. There is so much work to be done that it can be hard to know how to make a positive impact on our environment. As a business owner, you have a lot of leverage and can take small steps to take better care of our environment. It may not seem to be much, but over time these small steps can have an impact on our environment.
Add recycling bins
If you don’t have recycling bins in your office yet, add them right away. Place them directly next to trash bins to encourage use. Studies have shown that as much as 70% of waste in offices is paper products that could be recycled! Encourage your employees to print only what is necessary as well, to help reduce waste and inventory costs. If you need new wastebaskets as well, consider purchasing smaller sizes to encourage the use of the recycling bins.
When choosing a shipping company, pick companies that use greener fuels such as HVO fuel. This type of fuel is made of products like vegetable and animal fat and reduces greenhouse emissions by as much as 90%.
Switch light bulbs
As lightbulbs in your office burn out, consider replacing them with energy-efficient LED lightbulbs. These lightbulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and can last up to sixty times longer, resulting in both energy cost savings as well as lower supply costs for your company. This small impact on the environment will add up over time as you replace more lightbulbs.
Green product packaging
If your business involves shipping products, check to see if there is a way to make your shipping processes greener. Reduce waste by using thinner cardboard, use pockets of air instead of styrofoam for padding, and offer incentives to customers who order items that can be shipped together instead of shipping them one by one.
Reduce environmental commuting costs
Commuting to and from work each day costs employees time and the environmental costs can be astounding. Public transportation can cut down on some of the environmental costs if it’s available, but the amount of time it takes can be detrimental to employees and they may still find it saves a lot of time to drive their own car to work. Consider allowing employees to work from home one day a week to save on fuel emissions. Another way to cut environmental costs would be to encourage employees to cycle, run, or walk to work. Be sure your workplace has a place to lock bicycles up or somewhere to store bicycles in your building.
Making these small changes will show your employees and your customers that you really do care about environmental issues. Employees might even implement some of these ideas at home, and your leadership in this area will encourage them to think about how they can make positive changes in the environment as well.