Earth Day is here, and with it, a chance to reflect on how we can leave our planet a better place. For most companies this means going green. But many business owners have concerns about what it would take to become more environmentally-friendly and aren’t sure how to decide which initiatives they should participate in.
If you’re ready to get eco-friendly, one way to choose which ways to help the environment will be most worth your time are to consider which options for a green office make the most sense for your organization, and which incentives mean the most to you.
Easy Ways to Go Green
Going green doesn’t have to be tough. Depending on how much time you want to invest, any one of these ways can help your business help the planet. Save Paper:
- Print all documents double-sided.
- Use collaboration tools like Google Docs.
- Email copies of powerpoints.
- Turn off electronics and lights when not in use.
- Unplug devices and chargers. (They use some energy even when off.)
- Take advantage of natural light when possible.
- Find out your city’s recycling program and set up bins throughout the office.
- Stock your office with recyclable cups, flatware, and other disposables.
- Educate employees about what items can be recycled.
Energy-efficient Office Space:
- Look for an office space with a preferred Energy star rating. These buildings have been found by the EPA to have superior energy efficiency.
- Invest in energy-efficient office equipment.
Incentives to Go Green
Preserving the environment might be motivation enough, but there are also more tangible benefits to going green.
The startup costs to going green might look high, but you’ll save money long-term in smaller gas, water and electricity bills. Eco-friendly initiatives can even add to your sales by motivating environmentally aware customers to choose you over a competitor.
If you’re willing to take on a project, tax credits can foot some of the bill. Credits exist for improving old HVAC systems, buying hybrid vehicles, and taking on building renovations that improve energy efficiency. Check out the U.S. Small Business Administration to start research on federal credits and then look up credits for your state.
Grants and Loans
If you own a business that makes green products and technologies, or you’re making energy-efficient upgrades to your building you might get some help footing the bill. The federal government offers grants and loans related to energy, transportation, agriculture, and natural resources among other categories. Check to see if your business qualifies.
Finally, supporting the environmentally aware helps out your public image. Posting on social media about your green initiatives, noting on labels that your products include recycled material, and including your eco-friendly stance on marketing materials all grab the attention of consumers who value eco-friendliness.
Going green doesn’t have to become a time-consuming project. Making small changes every day can add up to a reduced carbon-footprint over time for your company and your employees. And using fewer resources can ultimately benefit your business-and Earth-all at the same time.