Earth Day is April 22. I find it’s a wonderful time to reflect on how our professional practices affect the world around us. Whether you’re starting a business or have been running one for years, you can make this planet a better place by adopting eco-friendly habits.
Need some ideas?
Consider these easy tips for cutting back on waste and conserving our earth’s precious resources:
- Email invoices and receipts rather than printing and mailing them. – Not only will you help the environment, you’ll also eliminate postage costs. Bonus!
- Recycle. – According to an EPA fact sheet issued in 2015, every ton of mixed paper recycled can save the energy equivalent of 166 gallons of gasoline. Rather than throwing paper (and bottles and cans) away in the trash can, recycle it. Producing goods made from recycled materials requires less energy than using raw materials—and it conserves those raw materials, as well.
- Use recycled office supplies. – Printer paper, notepads, envelopes, labels, thank you cards, binders, folders…all of it is available in recycled versions that look as appealing and serve their purposes as well as products made from non-recycled materials.
- Switch from incandescent lights to halogen incandescent, CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) or LED (light-emitting diode) lights. – Sure, they may cost more upfront, but they last much longer, conserving energy and money during their life span. According to he U.S. Department of Energy, those alternatives to traditional incandescent lights use 25 to 80 percent less energy, and they can last from three to 25 times longer.
- Use your printer in an environmentally savvy way. – Don’t use your printer so much. Period. Rather than print hard copies of files, scan and save them on your computer or in a cloud storage application. And when you do print, change your printer settings so you’ll have double-sided pages. Either way, you’ll save on the cost of paper and ink—sweet!
- Drink from reusable bottles rather than disposable plastic bottles or cans. – It’s a wonderful way to do your part in keeping disposable products out of our landfills. And that’s important—did you know that it could take 500 to 1,000 years for plastic to decompose? Yikes!
- Be earth-smart when packing your lunch. – Use a lunch or trendy bento box instead of the traditional brown bag. Also, put your food in reusable containers rather than in disposable sandwich bags.
As you can see, it really isn’t all that difficult to make your business a little greener—and doing so could even help your company’s bottom line. What environmentally friendly changes will you be making on this Earth Day?