Assessing Your Environmental Impact as a Business Owner

It’s important for all different types of businesses to ensure they’re helping to reduce their environmental footprints. And depending on the venue you’re in and the type of business you run, there are different ways to make sure you’re doing all that you can to be environmentally friendly. Not only will your business be run in a way that benefits the environment and the local area, but you’ll also be able to find a consumer base that appreciates those types of behaviors.

Here are a few ways that various types of businesses can check their environmental impacts and what they can do to reduce their environmental impact.

Restaurants

A restaurant can be environmentally friendly in many ways. Buying local and seasonally available foods will reduce your footprint from the get-go. You can also properly dispose of food waste, such as cooking oil. For instance, cooking oil can be used as a renewable energy when disposed of properly, and it’ll also lower costs of cleanup. There are also various programs that can help restaurant owners specifically with recycling cooking oil. You can also look into local composting rules to dispose of other food waste to local gardens and communities where they can use your compost to grow food and plants.

Offices

There are many things you can do in an office setting to ensure that you’re being as environmentally friendly as possible. When you dispose of paper, you should make sure you’re recycling it and adhering to any local recycling rules (i.e., do you need to use only clear bags, or should all paper waste be tied together?). You’ll also want to watch your paper usage in general, and when possible, you should print double-sided so that you save some paper. Adjust the thermostat and keep it lower when possible, and whenever you leave the office, turn off the lights, computers, printers, and any other appliances so that you aren’t wasting too much power. Not only will these practices reduce your environmental impact, you’ll also save money as well.

Delivery Services

Whether you’re delivering food, groceries, or other miscellaneous items to someone, there are quite a few ways you can keep do it in a green way. To start off with, biking is a great way to keep your services environmentally friendly, rather than using a car. And if you do use a car, you should aim to use something small and efficient rather than a large truck or something that guzzles gas. You can also look into things like drones or electric cars to deliver your items. Past that, you can make sure that the places you purchase from are environmentally-minded and that they use equipment in a green way.

School

Schools are areas that also use a lot of paper and therefore have many options for reducing their environmental footprints. Similar to office environments, it’s important to make sure there are recycling options and that you print on double-sided paper whenever possible. You’ll also want to power down any computer, projectors, or any other classroom electronics at the end of the day and keep all lights off. You can use environmentally-friendly lightbulbs whenever possible in your classroom, too.

Clothing Store

Malls and other shops can make sure they’re being environmentally friendly by only purchasing clothing from sustainably-sourced places. For instance, places that don’t use leather or fur are greener and better for the environment (and the animals involved, too). It’s also important to avoid fast fashion habits like making items out of cheap, non-environmentally sourced materials and using child labor to create clothing. Additionally, you can also source locally whenever possible and recycle whatever items can be recycled in your area.

Sam Casteris is a small business owner and freelance writer operating out of Phoenix, AZ. You can find more of her work on Contently.

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