Happy Earth Day! As business owners, we’re constantly looking for new ways to improve our efficiency and give back to our communities. However, most small businesses don’t have the resources or manpower to roll out an entire program devoted to corporate responsibility. One of the best ways for small businesses to boost their accountability is by practicing workplace conservation.
If you’re ready for your small business to “go green,” try these ten simple tips!
- Go paperless. According to Good Housekeeping, paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste. Between your invoices, contracts, junk mail, and company memos, how much paper do you use in a single day? You can cut your paper use by transitioning many paper processes to online sources, like accounting, invoicing, client communications, and advertising. Plus, with an online collaboration tool, your whole office can have access to a digital file storage system instead of a stuffed filing cabinet!
- Upgrade your lighting. If you work out of a physical office, consider upgrading your light bulbs to LEDs. LED lighting is much more efficient than fluorescent, and can help lower your electric bill at the same time.
- Lower your temperature costs. Temperature control is a big key to workplace efficiency. It’s harder to get things done if you’re uncomfortable! However, air conditioners and space heaters are huge contributors to electric and gas costs. You can maximize the efficiency of your workplace temperature control by sealing any drafty windows, investing in central heating and cooling instead of space heaters and desk fans, and switching to a “smart” thermostat that adjusts the temperature once your staff leaves for the night.
- Learn the proper recycling for all your technology. Can you put batteries in the trash? Do laptops go right to the landfill? Can this pizza box really be recycled? Take some time this month to learn the proper recycling techniques for things that can be tough to throw away, like dead cell phones and old computers. (Answers to the above: “No,” “No,” and “Maybe—if you’ve removed the greasy box liner!”)
- Leverage the Internet. Whether you operate a brick-and-mortar location or rely on coworking spaces to get things done, you can reduce your business’s footprint by leveraging the power of the Internet. Instead of posting flyers, invest in digital marketing. Instead of sending out a physical mailer, spend some time improving your social media. Transitioning your physical procedures to online equivalents will save you time, money, and stress, while helping the environment!
- Work from home. Who needs an office, anyway? You can lower your company’s overall costs by letting employees work from home more often, or holding a shorter work week. This cuts out the need for transportation, office energy costs, and endless disposable coffee cups chucked in the trash. Plus, you’d be shocked what a shorter schedule can do for increasing workplace efficiency!
- Invest in experiences, rather than things. If you’re planning a morale booster for your team or getting ready to schmooze a new client, consider spending your money on experiences instead of things. Rather than forking out tons of cash for tchotchkes that will just gather dust on your desks, take the whole team out for a team-building exercise, like an escape room. Instead of giving that new client a gift basket full of branded items, treat them to a tour of your HQ to meet the team. (Working from home long-term? Try inviting a farm animal to your next Zoom meeting!)
- Partner with local businesses. One of the best ways to minimize transportation costs and reduce your business’s footprint is to partner with small businesses in your area. Instead of buying office supplies from a big-box retailer, partner with a Mom and Pop business in your neighborhood. Instead of buying lunch at a fast food restaurant, shop at a local organic grocery store or farmer’s market.
- Host a workplace “Green” challenge. Make conservation fun for everyone with a workplace challenge! Challenge your employees to carpool to work, go paperless, or bring in items to be recycled or donated, and offer prizes for people who participate the most.
- Collaborate outside the box. At GTS, we’re huge believers in online collaboration tools. The Office 365 suite offers a fantastic collection of tools like Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, and SharePoint that allow your team to work together from anywhere in the world. With more businesses transitioning to remote workplaces, these collaboration tools help business owners boost efficiency without sacrificing their commitment to the environment.
How are you “greenifying” your small business this month? To find out how we can help, give us a call at (904) 606-6011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.