My Business Is Going Green For Earth Month

By Alyssa Gregory
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recycleActually, 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

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  • Jason Broyles

    You can also purchase trees to help offset any cardon dioxide you produce. Most companies go for renewable energy certificates which can be good too. Try out a carbon footprint calculator to see how much carbon dioxide your company produces each year. Then go to The Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees campaign and buy trees to offset it.

    You can also buy trees to offset any marketing you do. This could include an e-mail blast. You use electricity to made the e-mail design, the servers that host and send it use electricity, then the consumer uses electricity to view it.

    The most important thing as a business is to never leave it up to the consumer or potential client/client to deal with the harm you may cause the environment.

  • Have you thought about switching your electricity supply to one that uses renewable energy sources? The best way to drive alternative energy demand is to use it.

  • Brian

    We do nearly all of the above at hour home based business but we have also installed a diy solar electric system which powers all of the household lighting and also runs the lower power computer parts such as the network hubs and router which tend to be powered on 24/7. Our home server also runs around 90% of the time from solar power.

  • fproof

    We also applied these:

    – We’re using 100% ‘green’ energy as well.
    – We upgraded our development infrastructure with equipment that uses much less energy.
    – In summer we use ventilators instead of airco.
    – We donate a certain percentage of the annual profit to WWF.
    – All of us come to work by public transport or bicycle.

    It’s motivating to see more and more people and businesses becoming environmentally conscious.

  • Toby Somerville

    Here at Razorstone at the end of the day, we switch everything off at the wall. We don’t leave anything running or on, unless it absolutely has to be. Leaving computers running overnight (that aren’t actually doing something) is lazy and a pointless waste of energy.

    Only use renewable energy.
    Only print as a last resort.
    Communicate with clients electronically.
    Bill electronically
    Recycle and reuse

    Also, we are in the process of putting 30 hectares back to bush and planting 33,500 trees.

  • Respectable efforts.

    However some things are not directly related to the carbon footprint, moreover going green doesn’t always mean reducing your carbon footprint. There are a lot of really bad things we do to our mother Earth and eventually for ourselves and our children. For instance, forest cut is a major problem and going paperless means that the less amount of forest needs to be cut.