Thursday, September 27, 2012

4 Easy Ways to Make a Small Business Environment Greener

The thought of going green as a business owner sometimes feels a bit lofty. With payroll and
larger expenses to worry about, knowing that going green will take large commitment of both
your finances and time, it often feels like something better left alone. However, there are plenty
of ways you can take charge as a business owner to make sure you're doing what you can for the
environment, and do it much more easily that you would have thought. Read on for some simple
ways to help your small business go green:

1. Use mugs instead of plastic or Styrofoam.
Using and re-using dishes in an office environment can get a little hairy. You never know how
well something has been cleaned, who has used it, and why that plate has been left in the sink for
two days. The trials and tribulations that often go along with sharing a kitchen space can just be
a little too distracting to bring into the workplace. So, you may have to provide things like paper
plates and plastic utensils just to keep the peace. But one easy way to help out where you can is
be mandating that employees bring their own mugs and use them every day, instead of providing
Styrofoam cups. This is a great way to cut down on your daily waste and keep one of the most
harmful landfill components out of the trash.

2. Recycle office-wide.
Make sure to place recycling containers throughout the office. If you only keep a place for your
recyclables in one area, employees will be less encouraged to head there every time they need
to throw a recyclable item away. Take the time to consider the work flow of your office, and
place recycling bins in corresponding areas. Place paper recycling under printers and next to
the trashcans near desks. Place plastic and aluminum in the kitchen. Also, consider purchasing
recycled paper products for your in-office needs.

3. Have employees turn off computers when they leave.
This simple step can save tons of electricity, depending on the types of computers you use in
your office. PCs use much more power than laptops, so, if your office depends heavily on PC
use, then you can save quite a bit of energy by taking moves to conserve power. And, with any
device, by turning the setting to sleep or hibernate, you will be using about a third of the power
you would normally use if you had kept it on, which is still significantly more than turning it of
all together. So, if possible, have employees completely shut down their computers when they
leave for the evening.

4. Don't print out what you can provide online.
Businesses get into the habit of printing out every important HR document, but there is no reason
to print anything out unless you actually need to. We may not think twice about the things we
print, but it really can be a waste of paper. Not to mention an unnecessary use of funds. Make
sure to speak with your office coordinator to let them know which types of documents should be
printed and which are better dispersed online.

Eliza Morgan is a full time freelance writer and blogger. She often writes where she specializes in small and independent business topics. If
you have any questions, email her at

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