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Greening Your Small Business

Aug 1, 2008
Being "green" is the theme these days and doing so will help you bring in more customers to your business. But it's not all about money. Making your business green will better your entire community by helping to save the Earth from pollution and waste. And community thinking is no new thing for a small business like you, so why not start taking the steps to make your business green now.

Before you decide to become sustainable or "go green," take a look at what exactly that means for your business.

Sustainability focuses on the idea of preserving the Earth for future generations and finding a way to make the Earth cleaner and greener. When looking to make sustainability work in your business, it is important to find out some of its basic principles. The Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) is made up of people involved in the business world who feel a responsibility to create sustainable work places. Check out their principles to find out exactly what it means to be green.

Once you have a grasp of what it means to make your business green, start by making a few small changes in your business environment. One of the easiest ways to start your quest is to recycle. This is something you may have been doing at home for years, so why not bring it to your business?

Another easy but often-forgotten tactic is to turn off equipment and lights when they are not in use. Ask employees to turn off their computers at the end of the night and put them on stand-by during lunch breaks. Also, look into getting motion detected lights in order to keep the light off when it is not needed, thus saving energy and money.

When it comes to paper, try to save it by not printing out things that can be written down on scrap paper. If you have an e-mail you want to bring with you to a meeting, simply write down the important information in the e-mail on scrap paper. If you need to print something, try to do it double sided if possible. Following these guidelines will help save your paper usage over the years.

Choosing suppliers close to home also will make an impact on your sustainable goals. If you go with suppliers in your local area, less gas will be used for transportation. It also is a good idea to try and find suppliers who reuse shipping materials. Doing so will save the amount of cardboard used by your company. Try reusing your office furniture as well by refurbishing old furniture instead of splurging for new stuff.

Get eco-friendly by using natural cleaning products around your office. Not only will this benefit the health of the environment, but it also will benefit your employee health. Go one step further by adding green space in the window ledges of your office or even the roof. Creating a garden in these areas will increase employee happiness as they grow their own food and benefit from the brightness of a little patch of green.

A final way to make your business more environmentally conscious is to start selling green products. The demand for such products is high and not many markets exist to keep up with this new trend. Providing a green option to your customers will show them your Earth conscious side as well as your customer appreciation side.

Making these small changes in your business are the first steps to having a sustainable company. It is important to make sure your entire staff participates in these changes in order to have the greatest impact. Keep in mind these changes are not difficult and will bring great improvement in your company's ability to create a clean planet, as well as save money by cutting back on waste. A green planet and more green in your pocket? No one can argue with that logic.
About the Author
Melissa Mashtonio writes for Manta.com, the go-to site for business research. The site (http://www.manta.com) offers free research on more than 45 million companies worldwide.
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