Small businesses are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint by going green. Many of the measures are not only good for the environment, but they also save the company money as well — so I guess you could going green helps prevent red on the bottom line. For example, many are replacing old lighting with energy-saving compact fluorescent or LED products. More and more have stopped using disposable coffee cups and other kitchen items in favor of durable supplies. Icon Media Direct, a 73-person firm in Van Nuys, California, gave each of its employees a coffee mug with the company logo on it. “The company mugs also reinforce our Icon Media Direct logo everyday and give our employees a sense of pride knowing we are doing our part to reduce waste,” explained Lindsey Carnett, PR/Marketing Manager.
The keys to creating an environmentally friendly work environment are Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. Planning to do a little spring remodeling around your office? If you are buying new office furniture, consider purchasing reconditioned furniture and donate your old items instead of dumping them in the back alley. Nanette Saylor recommends amcligquidators.com for pre-owned furniture. Install a water-filtration device on your drinking faucets instead of using bottled water – or try tap water for a change. Save and reuse packing materials whenever possible.
There are lots of excellent ways to go green in your small business, but here are a couple of unique ideas.
Al Thieme, president and founder of Amigo Mobility International used old parking lot asphalt in his new lot. Kate Kelly, President/Owner of ExecAssist, a virtual assistance service uses her children’s returned homework as scrap paper.
In addition to the steps small businesses are taking internally, many are starting to encourage their customers to go green too. The staff at the Overleaf Lodge and the Fireside Motel in Yachats, Oregon, makes it easy for their guests to be environmentally conscious during their visit. Each guest room has a blue recycle container right next to the garbage can where guests are encouraged to put newspapers, cans, bottles, plastics, etc. Hotel owner Drew Roslund says, “Our hotels have been going green since long before it came in vogue.”
There are lots of reasons for customers of the Coffee Break Caf? in Massachusetts to think green. According to owner Jenn Ormond, the caf? offers a discount to customers who bring in a travel mug by charging them for a smaller size drink than they receive. Furthermore, customers can purchase cloth sleeves to use instead of the traditional paper clutch. Bring it back on your next visit and you save a nickel on your purchase. “When our customers remember to bring in a clutch or a travel mug they get to fill out a slip to enter into our monthly drawing for a free week of coffee,” Ormond says. “Every year we get greener and greener.
Finally, Brian Worley, co-founder of YourBASH! encourages soon-to-be brides to plan a “green” wedding. For example, he suggests renting the dress. “Sounds a bit weird, but when you really think about it, you can rent purses online, why not rent your wedding dress?” he asks. Seems to make sense to me, after all, hopefully you’re only going to wear it once, and it should same you quite a bit of money.