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Tips for your Green Business

September 16, 2010 - Tags: Environment

Shutterstock 21730771Smart business means keeping your costs down. Now you can save the environment and your bottom line by operating a green business. A green business has sustainable business practices and conservation policies that change the way they do business and help the environment.

There are 5 simple things that every small business owner can do to make their business green:

1. Reduce Employee Transportation and Travel

Save money and make an environmental impact by changing how your business handles transportation and travel. You can encourage employees to carpool, hold web conferences rather than travel long distances and look for fuel efficient transportation, if you need to buy vehicles for your business. Learn more about rebates for eco-friendly vehicles through the ecoENERGY for Fleets program.

2. Conserve Energy

Wasting energy (lighting, heating, or equipment) is one way small businesses lose money. Try to lower your energy consumption by up to 75% by turning off lights and equipment when not in use and switching to compact fluorescent bulbs. You can also minimize heating/cooling loss with windows and doors that have been properly weather-stripped. Contact Hydro One to learn more about savings through the Electricity Retrofit Incentive Program (link no longer available).

3. Reduce Waste

Reducing the waste your business creates is the simplest thing you can do to lower your bottom line and help the environment. Remind employees to print only when necessary and encourage digital communication formats like email or instant messenger rather than printing out memos.

4. Recycle

You probably recycle at home, but recycling is just as important at your place of business. Recycle used ink and toner cartridges (not just your paper), and before buying new office furniture or equipment, see if the existing piece can be refurbished - it's less expensive than buying new and it's better for the environment!

5. Buy 'Green' Office Supplies

Make the decision to buy eco-friendly office supplies (recycled paper or products made from post-consumer content). You can also choose suppliers who take back packaging for reuse, and buy Energy Star products when selecting new equipment.

For more information about making your business green, visit the Resources for Business section of the Ministry of the Environment or see the Resources for greening your business section of Canada Business.

Comments

Great tips. I’m a home-based business owner myself so I find that just having a home office means I do very little driving and am running my business ‘green’ in this way too.

Other ways I keep my business green is by selling digital products and online coaching. That way I’m not creating products that are printed. You might consider writing a similar article for the ‘home business’, ‘digital’ and/or ‘virtual’ business owner.

One thing I’ve yet to do but would like to is add green initiatives to my business plan so it’s top of mind. Thanks for the reminders :)

Angela

By Angela on September 17, 2010

These are great tips can be brought home too…for example car pooling the kids to their practices and recycling water bottles after a game or better yet, provide a water cooler with paper cups at the field to reduce plastic. ;)

By Darlene on September 20, 2010

I THINK ALL BUSINESSESS ESPECIALLY THE FAST FOOD INDUSTRY AND ANY WHERE THAT SAYS RECYCLING LOGO ON IT LIKE FOR INSTANTCSE MCD’S BAGS AND BOXES OF BURGERS AND FRIES AND CUPS THERE ALL RECYCABLE AND I THINK THAT THEY SHOULD START BY DOING THAT INSTEAD OF IT ALL GOING INTO THE WASTE BIN RATHER TO THE RECYCLING BIN WHERE IT STATES RECYCLING ON IT . ALSO, ALL BUSINESS THAT DEAL WITH BIG BOXES OF CARDBOARD SHOULD FLATTEN THEM OR GIVE THEM OUT FOR PEOPLE THAT WOULD LIKE TO REUSE THEM FOR MOVES . AND ALSO, REUSE PLASTIC BOTTLES OR HAVE ONE THATS FOR REUSEABLE DRINKS. AND PEOPLE SHOULD HAVE MORE TRANSIT WHERE THERE IS NO TRANSIT AND USE IT MORE OFTEN AND HAVE MORE SERVICES LIKE SUCH MORE STOPS AND ROUTES . AND INSTEAD OF SELLING YOUR ITEMS GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE AND DROP IT OFF FOR THEM TAKE THE BUS OR SOMETHING . AND GROW VEGGIES HAVE FRUIT TRESS . DONATE TO GOOD CHARITY PLACES BUT CHECK TO MAKE SURE YOUR NOT BEING SCAMMED ECT . . MAKE HOME MADE SOUP. AND BREAD . RE USE BREAD BAGS FOR FREEZING THINGS . HANG YOUR CLOTHES TO DRY IN THE SUMMER AND HANG THEM INSIDE IN THE WINTER ON CLOTHING BARS . REUSE SHOPPING BAGS THAT YOU GET AT STORES . ONE MANS TRASH IS ANOTHER MANS TREASURE . HAVE A BIG HEART . REUSE SANDWICH BAGS ECT . RECYCLE BOTTLES AND CANS . IF NOT THEN DONATE THEM OR RECYCLE THEM .

By barbara on November 7, 2011

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