This is a guest post by Angela Taylor.
Lowering the environmental impact of your business is important. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Vampire Drain
Buying energy-efficient lighting and electronic equipment can save some money and reduce your energy consumption, but there’s an even cheaper solution will cut your energy bills by as much as half, without buying any new equipment. Few people realize how much energy their appliances use, even when they’re powered down, simply because they’re plugged into a wall socket. Cell phone chargers, laptop power supply, floor lamps—anything with a plug—uses a surprising amount of energy even when turned off. Cell phone chargers are an especially egregious offender—they use just as much power whether you’re charging your phone or not. It can be a hassle to unplug every device in your office at the end of a workday, but you can make it easier on yourself by hooking up your major appliances to a surge protector or power strip. Then, once you’ve safely shut down your equipment for the night, simply unplug the power strip.
2. Green Web-Hosting
Web hosting has become a significant tax on the energy grid of developed countries. If your business has a website, your business uses more electricity than what it says on your power bill at the end of the month, because the servers that host your site need a great deal of electricity too. Fortunately, some web hosting providers are switching to more energy-efficient servers, and purchasing emissions credits to offset their energy usage. Web hosting will continue to be a major consumer of non-renewable energy for the foreseeable future, but you can find a provider that mitigates their environmental impact.
3. Team Effort
If you’re an employer, it’s important to get your team involved. Written, publicly-announced goals are more likely to succeed than private or verbal ones, so talk to your employees about a list of “green goals” everyone can agree on and work together to achieve. You can even use an fully recyclable and Eco-friendly glass whiteboard to list your green goals so that everyone can remember what they agreed to and help each other remain accountable.
If you require regular shipments of supplies to your place of business, try to find suppliers who reuse and limit their packaging. If your business ships physical products to customers, try to limit your own use of wasteful packaging. This tip will not only save you money and help the environment, it will also be viewed favorably by customers—no one likes having to crack open an over-packaged product. Whenever possible use recycled materials, and prefer paper packaging over plastic—it’s renewable, cleaner to manufacture, and more biodegradable than plastic packaging.
5. Electronic Waste
For basic office tasks such as word processing, spreadsheets, and web browsing, an inexpensive office computer should give you many years of solid performance. If your computer begins to lag or malfunction performing everyday office tasks, don’t be so quick to declare it a lost cause—you’ll save money and help the environment by sending it to a repair specialist rather than disposing of it. Even if your business is involved in high-performance tasks (video-editing, graphic design, programming), it may still make more sense to upgrade your obsolete computer rather than replacing it. When the time does come to put your old computer down, try to find an e-waste recycling center in your area—you would be surprised to learn how toxic and difficult to manage your computer’s components can be in a landfill, and many of those constituent parts are worth recovering.
This post was contributed by a guest writer. If you’d like to guest post for Naturally Earth Friendly please check out our Become An Author page for details on how YOU can share your tips with our readers.