Guest column: Making your business eco-friendly

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by Michele LaBross

Being green is not just Kermit’s theme song anymore. Green tips are top of mind, everywhere we turn.

So, when thinking of your business, how can we apply some green thinking to our everyday activities?

Here are a few simple ways to bring some green ingenuity to your daily project management.

Green Materials Maven. Are you using materials that have been recycled and are you recycling the materials you’re currently using? Just a little research can make a big difference in your business’ carbon footprint.

Green Team. There are hundreds of ways to make your office greener. Here are a few to get started:

  • Use coffee mugs instead of paper or Styrofoam.
  • You may be able to produce your own energy, such as solar. If you can’t, look for a local supplier that is producing green energy.
  • Put automatic timers or sensor lights in your bathroom, conference rooms or spaces not occupied the majority of the day.
  • Use as much natural light as possible
  • Use energy saving light bulbs
  • Switch off computers, photocopiers and other equipment when not being used.
  • Buy equipment with the best energy ratings.
  • Use refillable vs. disposable pens.
  • Buy green products for everything, from toilet paper to writing/copy paper.
  • Promote a reuse and less is mentality, such as “think before you print”—and make sure you lead by example.
  • Use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
  • Support vendors and suppliers who are eco-friendly by purchasing their products.
  • Support virtual office employees or car-pooling and ride sharing if in a suburban area.
  • If you’re in a rural area, can you create a wildlife trust around your property?

Make a commitment to green. When you make green more than a passing fancy, you show your team and your customers you mean business. You’re not just being trendy; you’re making changes that impact the world around you.

PR with heart and soul. Let’s face it, there’s a lot of bad news out there. Your customers do want to hear about the good things you’re doing. If you have a green initiative or a project with a green heart and soul, talk about it. Get the buzz going. Green PR is only bad when it’s insincere (greenwashing).

As a small business owner, when it comes to greening up the planet, who better to lead the charge than someone in your shoes? Who knows better than you about tackling something large with small milestones that make a big difference? So, Kermit, it can be easy being green. Just bring a small business owner on board to get it done.

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