Actually, I have been working toward going green and being more earth-friendly with my business for a while. And since April is Earth Month, I thought I’d share some of the ways I’m trying to make my business more environmentally conscious. Maybe you can implement a few of these in your own day-to-day activities this month and going forward.
Working from home, I have complete control over my work environment. Among the benefits of working from home, there are a lot of things I can do to make my home and work environment more earth-friendly. One of the easiest ways is simply turning off the lights and shutting down your equipment (and the surge protector) when you’re not working. This is an easy habit to adopt and then carry throughout all rooms in your home.
In terms of marketing activities, I don’t do any physical mailings anymore. Aside from never being very successful for me, mailings use a heck of a lot of resources for a comparatively low response rate. E-mail marketing is less expensive, quicker and less wasteful than direct mail. Sure, you can make the argument that e-mail blasts may waste the time of the recipient, but that’s another issue.
What about online purchases? Do you print all of your receipts from items purchased online? I make close to 100% of my business purchases online, but instead of printing hard copies of receipts, I make them PDFs and file them on my computer. I separate them by month, then at month’s end, I zip up the files and send them to my bookkeeper. I also keep the zipped file archived on my system and as part of my back-up files should I ever need it.
Here are some other green activities I’ve been incorporating in my business to increase my environmental consciousness:
- Using compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs
- Avoiding printing whenever necessary and printing double-sided when I do have to print
- Using an energy-saving power strip that autoswitches to conserve electricity
- Billing my clients electronically
- Using a reusable water bottle during the day
- Recycling paper, ink cartridges, cans, bottles, etc.
- Using chlorine-free post-consumer recycled paper
- Decorating with live plants to improve the air quality
- Going paperless with all of my financial statements
- Using energy settings on laptops and monitors
- Shredding paper to use in our worm composter (I admit, this one is managed by my husband!)
- Opting out of catalog mailings
- Creating electronic marketing materials
- Paying bills online
I still have a long list of other things I’d like to do to become even more earth-friendly with my business, including using soy-based ink, going completely paperless, and using green office supplies. I think the most important thing is that we all do something, even if it seems insignificant. The process of thinking in terms of reducing your carbon footprint will eventually become habit if you do it enough, and collectively, our efforts really do matter.
What do you do to make your business greener? Will you give any of these things a try?
Image credit: resignent