As we continue to look after our health amid the pandemic, it’s important to remember that one of the factors that affect our health is the environment. The US is among the top contributors of waste in the whole world, generating Th292 million short tons of waste per year. Considering the pandemic that has caused the rise of single-use plastics, that number has likely increased.
With the ecological crisis threatening our planet’s future, there’s no better time to save the environment. Everything from our lifestyle choices all the way to how we run our businesses can affect the environment, so it’s time to start making more eco-friendly decisions. If you’re a business owner who wants to show their commitment to the environment, here are a few steps to making your business more sustainable.
When you’re at the office, it can be easy to forget just how much waste you’re producing while you’re working. Businesses generate a lot of waste, from printouts to plastic water bottles to office supplies. One of the main sources of waste is paper, making up 70% of total office waste. While you might think that paper is necessary for invoices, printouts, and other documents, there are other means to keep track of your business transactions.
Cut down your office’s paper consumption by minimizing printer use and using online sites and applications. Sites like Google Drive can help you create, store, and organize documents that you can share with anyone in your office. If you need to take down notes, you can use applications like Evernote or Notion on your computer or tablet.
Turn Off Computers When Not in Use
This step is self-explanatory. If you and your employees are going on a lunch break or leaving for a day, make sure to turn off all the computers and their accompanying power strips. This goes for the rest of the electronic devices in your office too. If there’s anything you won’t be using for a significant period, turn it off and unplug them.
Electronic devices, especially computers and laptops, consume a significant amount of energy. If you still leave them plugged in after turning them off, your devices will draw “phantom power” or continue to consume energy even if your devices are on standby.
Avoid Single-use Items
Water bottles, straws, coffee cups, and takeaway boxes are the biggest culprits of single-use items in your office. Encourage your employees to bring their own reusable water bottles to work. You can do this by placing a water filter system in your office. You’ll avoid single-use plastics from water bottles, and employees will enjoy the free water refills.
You can also encourage bringing your own meals to work and minimizing the number of takeout boxes your office accumulates. Since this might be a little more difficult for some people, you can consider making it a one-day-a-week affair.
Use Eco-friendly Materials
Most business owners want to secure their offices from animals or people with malicious intentions. Fences are usually the most popular protection of choice. While this is a good way to secure your business and the important items inside your office, many fences aren’t usually eco-friendly. This doesn’t mean having a fence around your area isn’t possible. Composite fencing, like Trex Fencing – SRF, is an eco-friendly way to have fences, as they don’t require maintenance, and they’re usually made of wood and plastics.
Use Green Cleaning Products
Whether you’re in charge of cleaning your office or hire a cleaning service to do it for you, it’s important to be more mindful about the cleaning products you use. Regular cleaning products usually contain carcinogenic and asthma-inducing ingredients that are harmful to your health. You don’t have to worry about quality when it comes to green cleaning products, as they’re just as effective as their regular counterparts.
Use Energy-efficient Appliances
One of the most costly things about having an office space is the equipment that comes with it. Since equipment like computers, phones, copy machines, and printers take up a lot of energy, consider using energy-efficient appliances like those certified by Energy Star. Not only will you help the environment, but you’ll see your electricity bills go down.
While turning your business into a more sustainable one can be difficult, it helps to start small. All it takes is to get used to the small changes you’re making in your business life. Once you’ve gotten used to it, it’ll become a habit that will benefit not only you but also your environment.