Small business owners have a lot on their plates. From bookkeeping and employees to business development and marketing, making time for sustainability can be a challenge when added to an already overwhelming schedule.
Fortunately, there are some small steps that can be taken to begin to reduce your environmental impact and at the same time, save money.
Paper – Implement a paper waste reduction policy. There are several ways to reduce paper use including:
- Printing only when necessary
- Use USB devices or the cloud for sharing documents
- Print on both sides of the paper and encourage re-using single printed papers
- Add a tag to your emails that encourage others to consider the environment before printing
Free audits – National Grid and many local utility companies or construction companies are willing to provide a free examination of your energy usage and provide suggestions on how to reduce your energy impact and your bill as well. The energy audit will provide a checklist of initiatives that can be implemented to start you on your way to energy efficiency.
Buy Local – Choosing products from local manufacturers and suppliers reduces transportation pollution and improves your local economy.
Consider the commute – Provide preferred parking for carpoolers. Offer transit passes to employees who take the bus or subway and bike racks for cyclists. Let workers telecommute.
Get Everyone Involved – Encourage your employees, clients and patrons to find ways to reduce their impact. Elect a leader or team to measure successes. Offer re-usable shopping bags, bike racks and preferred parking for efficient vehicles.
Start small, tackling one goal at a time. Before you know it you will be reaping the rewards of a healthier business environment and reduced energy bills.