Tackling Your Business’s Waste Problem

With increasing regulations and a growing awareness amongst consumers, every business owner has to seriously consider the environmental impact their work has. In particular, waste is still a significant issue, but one that you can help to decrease dramatically. Here, we’re going to look at some of the greatest sources of waste in all businesses and what you can do to lessen your impact at least a little.

Paper

Paper isn’t being treated as the completely expendable commodity that it once was. This is thanks, in large part, to the growing reliance on IT. More and more businesses are turning to a paperless or near paperless model. By relying more on digital storage and backups, you can reduce the amount of paper your business uses dramatically. Not only does this cut on the costs of buying paper itself, it also saves in terms of printing costs and the storage space necessary to keep all that paper, too.

Power

Many businesses use more electricity than necessary. From vampire electricity wasted by leaving devices on standby to relying on old equipment that is far from energy efficient, you could be driving your power bills sky high. An energy audit service can help you easily see where exactly you’re using the most energy and what to do about it. Investing in question like a genset can help you cut costs, too. Many utility providers are willing to offer discounts on energy, for instance, if companies are willing to use their own genset to supplement their reliance on utilities.

Water

Water-saving faucets and toilets can drastically reduce the amount of water wasted by employees in every bathroom. However, water waste isn’t just about how much water your business uses, but how clean it is when disposed. From businesses with fleets to warehouses and construction crews, water contamination is a serious problem. Oil water separators are more than just an ethical choice, they could be an essential part of making your business compliant with environmental regulations, depending on the industry you’re in. As the business grows, make sure that you’re getting rid of waste water in the cleanest way possible.

Packaging

If you’re in retail, manufacturing, or production of any kind, consider the packaging you offer. Regular product packaging is one of the most widespread sources of plastic and paper waste, but there are eco-friendly packaging options available. You can make it much easier for your customers to recycle or reuse your products. Not only will this help tackle your ecological footprint, but it’s a very visible sign of your company’s dedication to environmentally friendly operation methods. It can be as much a part of the brand, helping to win the goodwill of your consumers.

It’s reasonable to expect that businesses will be legally required to produce less waste as time goes on. Even now, consumers are becoming more mindful of who they support and producing lots of waste can be bad for your image as far as they are concerned. Keep the tips above in mind, as it’s only going to become more important.

Ways Almost Every Business Owner Can Save Money

If you were to take a close look at just about any business, you would probably find ways that the business could save a ton of money. Businesses both big and small should be concerned with saving money. Even if you have a steady flow of cash coming in, you never know when you might go through a dry spell. Plus, the money you could be saving in certain areas could be put to better use in other areas. It makes sense to look at the places you can save money and then work towards them.

Here are some pointers that just about every business owner can use to save money:

Becoming More Eco Friendly

Becoming a more eco friendly business reduces the impact you have on the environment, and makes you more attractive to clients who are concerned with making the environment a better place, too. You’ll also save a lot of money, even if you take baby steps to making your business more eco friendly. Here are some ideas you can use to begin working towards a more eco friendly business right now:

  • Cut back on paper before going completely paperless
  • Buy from eco friendly, sustainable companies. You can get recycled paper and ink, for example.
  • Only use sustainable product packaging
  • Swap your light bulbs for more eco friendly light bulbs
  • Use more natural light rather than artificial light
  • Ensure everything is switched off before leaving the workplace at night

The above are just a few suggestions that will help you to become a more sustainable business.

Getting Rid Of Dead Weight

It might seem harsh, but you may have some dead weight in your business that you need to let go of before you can save money and move forward. Of course you should give people a chance to improve (plus this is what the law will state in most places), but if you have meetings and give written warnings and nothing improves, you may have to let employees go. Finding employees that are engaged and passionate about the work is important, but remember that your own leadership skills make a big difference too.

Creating Better Relationships With Suppliers

Creating better relationships with your suppliers is always a great way to save money. Whether you need cone bottom tanks for your warehouse or you’re looking for companies to provide you with stock to re-sell, creating relationships is the best way to save money.

Making Virtual/Temporary Hires

You don’t always need to hire a brand new employee when you have a lot of work on. Virtual and temporary hires can be just as effective, less expensive, and you have fewer responsibilities with them.

Allow Workers To Work From Home

Have you considered allowing employees to work from home every now and again? Not only is this more eco friendly, as you aren’t powering a whole office or getting your employees to drive into work, you’re going to save money on your overheads and other costs associated with working. It could even be a bonus for employees and make them more loyal to you.

4 Ways to Stop Your Business from Negatively Impacting the Environment

Becoming more environmentally friendly is something that more businesses are considering. Taking these steps will help to reduce the amount of waste and the impact to the Earth. Here are some of the ways that your business can change their practices to become more environmentally conscious.

Invest in Recycling Programs

Recycling is an important step that your business can take to stop your impact to the environment. Many things that are utilized each day can be recycled instead of going into a landfill. Electronics are becoming easier to recycle in many communities. Some buyback programs are even offered because of the value of the metals. Another thing to consider is purchasing recycled materials. Being more environmentally conscious in the workplace can make your employees see the benefits for their homes.

Reduce Your Energy Consumption

Turning lights off that aren’t in use is a big cost saving measure for businesses. Another one that you may not have given much thought was the HVAC usage. You can reduce your businesses usage by investing in a more energy efficient roofing system. For example, foam roofing provides more insulative qualities than a typical roof. This can be especially beneficial if you live in an extremely warm or cold climate. You can increase your overall energy efficiency by reducing your greatest area of waste.

Look Into Green Scaping

Water runoff can present problems for the environment. Erosion and other issues can occur when large parking lots lack the proper drainage system. Green scaping or soft scaping can help with this issue. Add catch basins for the runoff from your parking area to help with erosion. Invest in landscaping that is more tolerant of your climate. You want to limit the amount of water that is used to keep it in good condition.

Create an Action Committee

Another thing that you might want to consider is creating an environmental action committee. This committee can keep up on the latest trends in how businesses can help the environment. Some of their solutions may even be able to save your business a little bit of money. There are always new gadgets and technology that appear on the market. If you’re unaware of these things, you may not be helping the environment as much as you could.

Businesses have a social and ethical responsibility to do their part to help the environment. You can set a good example for your employees by taking these actions in reducing your carbon footprint.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Bringing Nature to Your Office Will Benefit Your Business in These 4 Ways

Bringing the outside inside through the use of plants has many benefits for the workplace. Yet, according to Truspace, 47 percent of workplaces are designed so that natural light does not enter and 58 percent do not have living plants. Here are some reasons to introduce plants to your work environment.

Increase Productivity

Workers who are surrounded by plants are more productive. Part of the reason is that being surrounded by nature, even a small item like a hanging terrarium makes people feel more positive. Additionally, numerous studies show that nature makes people more productive and creative. Introducing plants may increase the level of oxygen in the room allowing people to be more attentive.

Reduce Stress & Sickness

According to researchers at the University of Washington, introducing plants in the workplace helps to reduce stress levels. After testing participants’ blood pressure levels, the researchers found that those working in rooms with plants had lower blood pressure readings after just a few days. Plants may also help reduce the number of headaches, sore throats and coughs. Since plants help clean the air, introducing them may help reduce the number of days that workers call in sick as well,

Fulfills the Need to Return to Nature

Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson first described the human need to return to nature in his book Biophilia. Plants can help create a geometric cohesiveness to space. They can also help people feel calmer and more in tune with the natural world around them. Plants can help people feel more caring about projects and others around them. They can also help people fulfill their inborn need to connect with a natural environment.

Create a Quieter Environment

Many people find it difficult to work when the noise level is too high. Correct placement of plants in the workplace can help defect sound away from worker’s areas. Stems, branches and other surfaces also can help absorb sound. Plants can also refract sounds away from work areas. Since more work can generally get done in quieter work areas, companies may find that plants pay for themselves quickly.

There are many different reasons to introduce plants to your work area. Use these reasons and your own creativity to convince your company that it is a great idea today. You may want to create a plan showing how plants can be used in your particular workplace. Then, simply ask for them to approve the plan.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

Eco-Friendly Business: A Guide to Successfully Marketing Yourself as Green

That green is all the rage lately is hard to disagree with. Not only are businesses discovering the vast financial benefits of going green; they’re also noticing that doing it for the right reasons has a lot more going for it than joining the party for the fun of it. If you’ve completed the tour of electronics around your office already, banned hard copies, and found ways to use less energy in general, you’d probably love to see your company celebrated by your community.

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Image by: Pexels

Don’t let your good deeds go unnoticed; here is a useful guide to how you can market your business as green and show it off from its best side.

Green is the most complex color

It should be easy enough to get the word out there when you know for a fact that you’re green through and through – yet, green marketing is no easy challenge. Do it for the sake of profits and the community is likely to punish you for selfishness; do it for the sake of the environment, and you could still risk being avoided.

It seems overly complicated, but there is a simple explanation to this. Sometimes, marketing yourself as green doesn’t speak to your target group quite as it should – and it all depends on what sort of business you’re in.

Think about it this way; when you hear that a business is green, what comes to mind first? Most likely, you’re not settling on luxury and comfort. The truth is that a luxury resort that is marketing itself as eco-friendly is likely to scare pamper-seeking guests away. They’ll think cold and short showers, going to the toilet outside, and sleeping under the stars; kind of romantic but not always comfortable.

As a business owner who offers comfort and luxury to their target audience, you should still be green and eco-friendly – just be it quietly. It saves you money in the long-run and is wonderful news for our planet, so don’t let snobbish customers who think eco equals discomfort steer you in any other direction.

It’s a good idea to think about who sustainability is important to, since certain demographics seem to care more than others. As a general rule, women tend to focus on soaps and cleaning detergents that are free of chemicals, especially when it comes to cooking and products for their children. A label of being green won’t sell your products, though, so don’t expect your business to bloom just because of this.

What do you mean by green?

Sure, we use it as an umbrella term for being conscious of the environment – but going green could imply various things to your customers. It’s important to communicate exactly how you’re contributing to keeping our planet healthy; with vague and imprecise boasting of being green, you risk confusing or even disillusioning your community.

The companies who are marketing themselves as such but fails to inform the consumers on the specific measures they’ve taken so far might be seen as dishonest. Especially when their competitors are successfully marketing themselves as green and provide detailed explanations of how they do it; by reducing carbon footprints, using solar energy, banning papers, and steering away from hazardous chemicals.

Go green but tell them how you do it and, even more importantly, why you’re doing it.

Find ways of incorporating this message without explicitly using the word ‘green.’ People are able to connect the dots themselves, and the positive message will shine through without the use of vague umbrella terms. To falsely show off one’s business as eco-friendly is known as greenwashing and you’d want to avoid this by all means.

Although you’re likely to find other guides online that tells you to incorporate your green vision in every part of your business – as well as the logo, we wouldn’t take it that far. Ask a marketing agency to help you with finding the right solution for your company; Cardinal Digital Marketing is a good place to start or have a look at this detailed guide.

When deciding on how to market yourself, remember that transparency and honesty are keywords to happy customers. Consider your target group, however, and figure out how you can tailor the message of eco-friendliness to fit their needs and wants.

Use online marketing

Whatever you do to promote yourself as green, make sure you do it online. It’s common sense, in a way, as thousands of leaflets on sustainability is both ironic and irritating to your customers. Plus, online marketing is a lot more cost-effective than the old-school traditional methods, which is excellent news for small businesses.

You can use recycled paper, by the way, which is also cheaper and more eco-friendly than regular printing paper. Concentrate on less paper and more digital, however, and you have vast opportunities for expanding your social media marketing as well as growing your email database. Less is certainly more when it comes to green marketing, so any signs of extravagant spending will be bad taste for your eco-conscious customers.

Make a point out of it

A part of being liked is to be predictable – and people don’t like businesses who say one thing and do another. Someone who is truly passionate about the environment and wants to make the world a better place by starting with their own business should be rewarded, but they should also be honest. We expect you to carpool, to have incorporated a green company culture, and we certainly expect you to be consistent.

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Image by: Pexels

Make it fly by allowing this green thinking to shine through every corner of your office; it’s excellent PR, you know. Engage in local environmental causes, make donations to charities in your community, and source your produce or products from local farmers. As a household, you’d be good to nature by investing in your community; as a business, you’d do the same.

Get your employees on board

To be consistent, you’re going to have to spend some time on figuring out your company culture. It’s such a buzzword these days but for good reasons; a company works as a team where you happen to be the leader. That means that the message of eco-friendliness and sustainability needs to come from the top and work its way downwards; nobody’s going to follow your lead unless you show them that the green culture is here to stay.

Start by reaching out for suggestions. It’s an ideal way of making them feel involved – plus, you’re likely to get a lot of great ideas. Happy employees are listened to and taken into consideration; when you ask for the opinions, make sure you put them into life. It might mean investing in more natural cleaning detergents or successfully incorporating meatless Mondays into the cafeteria menu – but it’s all worth it.

Next, find ways to remind them of your green vision in a non-intrusive way. Tell your team to turn off their computers at the end of the day, install a water dispenser to eliminate plastic bottles, and put up a few friendly reminders in the bathrooms to make sure no taps are dripping.

These are small but effective ways to be a more sustainable business while also keeping it real. Don’t lose their respect by preaching sustainability and driving to work every day; they’ll look up to a leader who takes the bus or carpools like the rest of us. Market your business as green for the right reasons, and you’re in for reduced costs as well as a happier community.