You’ve undoubtedly heard about the “Green” movement that’s swept up the world for the past several years. We like to think of ourselves as environmentally conscious – and we reflect this consciousness in the green products we—as consumers—buy.
In the same vein, there is no reason businesses can’t (or shouldn’t) go green. Doing so puts you in a good light, community-wise and make a lot of people respect you and your business. It’s certainly a great way to broaden your perspective about becoming healthier.
Additionally, consumers are willing to pay more for organic and green products. (This is great for you if you’re the manufacturer of a product, or if you’re in the service industry.) However, “going green” is easy to say and incredibly hard to do. It is a lifestyle change, and this type of change does not happen overnight.
It requires a neural rewiring and an active, conscious choice to be environmentally responsible. It’s also worth knowing that making green choices for your business will cost more upfront – but pay off tremendously down the road. Let’s take a look at 8 green choices you can make for your business today.
1. Swap Bulbs
If you know the benefits of LED lights, you’ve probably made the switch in your home. Have you made the switch in your office and building? There’s no reason to not replace incandescent and fluorescent lights (in your business and home). Here’s why:
- LEDs, while expensive, last longer than CFLs and standard bulbs – one LED lasts up to 11 years, thus saving you money since you don’t have to buy one every 6 months
- ~80% of electrical energy is converted to light. (Compared to incandescent, which 20% of electrical energy is converted to light – resulting in 80% being lost to heat.)
- There is no mercury or toxic chemicals in LEDs. When you break a standard bulb or CFL, handling them is dangerous due to these chemicals.
2. Get Green Vendors
Think about your CRM system or your company’s website. Look at your business banking, accounting, billing work etc. If there is something that you can outsource – then outsource to green alternatives. Use them. In the long run, doing so will not only (obviously) help the environment, but will save you money. Look for local green vendors in your area – finding the right partners is truly worth it. (Such as going with a company that uses recycled paper.)
3. Remove Plastic Bottles
As the years have passed, we’ve environmentally matured as a society – and frequently reuse plastic bottles. Eventually, we go on to recycle a lot of them. These bottles are then remade into other objects and materials. However, you can subvert the need for plastic bottles entirely by installing a water filtration system.
4. Use Human Energy
One of the sure-fire ways to ensure your business is truly utilising green energy… is to have healthier employees, colleagues and workers. Implement small exercise regimens within your departments. (Something small, such as 30 air squats every hour, is easy to do and takes little effort.)
When we’re healthier, our minds are more focused, leading to higher levels of productivity and stronger work ethic. Replace vending machines with fruit bars. Get rid of sodas and sugary fruit juices and bring in organic green lemon & honey tea. (Or Detox tea, if you can find it.) There are certain brain foods that specifically enhance your brain power:
5. Public Support
Supporting events and programs that benefit the community and surrounding areas? If not, thinking twice about this will bite your business’ behind. When you adapt a green cause (and publicly back other green causes), you single-handedly improve your image in town and boost your public interest. Plus, green organizations and other event organisers will look at you as a profitable business partner – giving you more business avenues to increase revenues and profits.
6. Evolve Your Mind
In order for every member of your business to “get” green, you must create efficiency goals. Doing this puts your “green mission statement” into practice.
These type of efficiency goals can include:
- Turn off computers at end of workday for a month
- All staff rides via electric vehicles to work one day (or more) a week
- The IT department switches to green web hosting
- Setting (and meeting) an energy-consumption reduction goal
- Moving into a more energy efficient building/office
One way to increase efficiency is to encourage your employees and colleagues to get energy audits – and do their best to seal leaks and cracks in the workplace. These energy audits will show you energy inefficiencies in your business – and dealing with those inefficiencies saves you money.
Encourage people to buy Energy Star appliances – which assess energy and cash requirements over a period of time. Whether it’s a green toaster, a green microwave or fridge – encourage people to find these appliances and use them as replacements for appliances currently in the office. (Feel free to make a game of it: whoever finds the greenest appliances will get a bonus.)
7. Recycle What You Can
Do you toss papers, glass, plastics, cardboard, etc. into the trash bin? Thank you for contributing to the thousand-pound landfills all across the nation. When you recycle using big blue bins, search throughout your community for a recycling program. Hold your teams/departments accountable for meeting recycling goals – use bonuses as incentives if you must. When you have electronics or serviceable equipment that you don’t need anymore, donate them to non-profit organisations and educational programs. Someone out there can find a new use for what you don’t use.
8. Natural Cleaners
Window cleaners, dish soaps, hand soaps and bathroom soaps are filled with dozens of chemicals and toxins. You smell those chemicals when you use them – and willingly use them anyway. Why? Green cleaning products don’t put you at risk for developing asthma, don’t put harmful chemicals in the environment (thereby reducing pollution), don’t chemically burn your skin, and have less-stinky odours that many commercial cleaning products have.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, peruse for biodegradable cleaning products. Or if you can’t find some, simply make your own natural cleaning products using everyday items.
Tip: Filling a spray bottle with 1/2 cup of baking soda and 4 cups of water is a tremendously-powerful all-purpose cleaner. (You can even add your favourite essential oil to the spray bottle for a nice fragrance.)
Sustainable development cannot be achieved by a single individual or enterprise. Everyone must participate. You will demonstrate your leadership and commitment to a healthy, safe future by joining the ranks of business leaders who make sustainable choices.
Green isn’t a fashion statement or trend. Being environmentally healthier is a conscious decision that expands your wisdom as a human being. Making a powerful choice to make your business health-oriented, shows your colleagues and employees the extent of your leadership.