How Your Business Can Go Green Without Going Bust

Reader Contribution by James White
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For many people, being more environmentally conscious is a huge concern. Consequently, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that corporations are starting to follow suit. Not only does going green bode well for them internally, but it’s meaningful for their customers and prospective clientele, too. The problem is that being eco-friendly can sometimes cost more in the short-term, and that can lead to budget problems, especially for organizations that are smaller in size.

Instead of giving up their desires to green their offices, businesses that are just starting up or have few persons on their rosters are looking for the best methods to be conscientious about how they’re affecting the environment without ruining their fiscal-related chances of longevity. Some of the techniques they’ve discovered can be used by your small business, too.

1. Find Out About Solar Rebates and Credits

Going solar can seem like the perfect way to reduce spending over time on utility bills while simultaneously reducing waste. However, the price tag for a new solar system can appear un-absorbable for a company with a restricted cash flow. The answer is to uncover any available solar-related rebates and credits. By taking advantage of these credits offered by the government, businesses can offset the cost of adding solar panels to their structures (or the surrounding land).

2. Start With Some of the Simplest Green Methods

It’s not necessary for businesses to go all-out in order to make a difference. Starting with just a few changes can make an impact over time. For instance, try to go paperless whenever possible. Instead of buying sticky notes, use scraps of paper and affix them with reusable paper clips. Encourage workers to dress warmly and keep the heat in the building at a comfortable, but modest, temperature.

3. Buy From Green Vendors

One of the smartest ways to decrease your organization’s overall carbon footprint is to work with vendors that are also interested in going green. You may have to do a little upfront legwork to discover green vendors, but it will definitely be worth the time spent. Just be certain to determine your green criteria before getting started; it will help you figure out which companies best fit your guidelines.

4. Replace Appliances and Equipment With Energy-Efficient, Eco-Friendlier Models

Did the company fridge decide to die this week? Invest in a replacement that’s greener, and make an effort to do that every time something breaks down. From desktop computers to printers to furnishings, there are environmentally safer versions available. You may have to spend a bit more upfront, but you’ll save more in the long haul.

5. Encourage Workers to Commute Together

If your employees are also interested in being green, encourage them to commute with one another. This may mean being flexible in terms of when the workday begins and ends (they can’t all stay after-hours to finish a project if they’re commuting as a group). Another option could be to even give prizes to people who bicycle or walk to work. Make it fun, and individuals on your team will be more apt to rise to the challenge.

There’s no reason to spend a fortune to change your organization overnight into a green machine. Some practical steps will get you there over time and will help you feel better about the effect you’re having on the world around you.

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