Consider going “green” in your office, on the road and in all aspects of your life. Why? Because it saves you money by lowering operating costs and living expenses, and those are pretty good reasons to go green. It’s not hard to do. In fact, it’s easy. It also makes good sense for a few reasons:
- A “green” business makes a statement about your corporate culture.
- Going green improves your margins because you spend less on operating expenses.
- You can keep your people in place delivering the quality of customer care your clients expect.
- Going “green” doesn’t cost a lot of money.
- You make the planet better today, tomorrow and in the future.
So, what can you do to go green? A lot. Office Practices You really don’t know how much waste you create in a typical office, large or small. That’s because waste is often invisible. It’s built in to the office routine. But a few changes will revamp the way you look at everything from “What’s for lunch?” to “We’re out of printer cartridges again!”
- Use washable coffee mugs, plates, spoons and forks instead of paper products or worse, those foam cups and plates. You’ll save a little but help a lot by cutting down the amount of waste that ends up in our land fills (which are already pretty full, frankly).
- Place recycling bins around the office and in the warehouse. You can recycle paper, glass, cans, batteries, printer cartridges, plastics and cardboard. And if you can’t recycle it: (1) Don’t buy it or (2) re-use it.
- Buy recycled paper with at least 50% recycled content. It’s less expensive than non-recycled and it uses less bleach and other harsh chemicals in processing - chemicals that eventually work their way into our water systems.
- Re-use printer paper. Cut it up into quarters, staple it together and use it for note taking during telephone calls. You can also print on both sides of printer paper. That doubles the use of paper, or to put it in terms of dollars, you cut paper costs in half.
- Use a smaller font for in-office use. You can fit more on a page using a 10-point font than a 12-point font, again, cutting down on paper usage and saving you money.
- Preview your docs before printing. How many times have you had to reprint a document because the spacing was off just a bit. Previewing prevents this kind of waste.
- Turn off those screen savers. Early on, screen savers were necessary to prevent computer monitors from burning images into the screen. Today’s monitors don’t require screen savers. In fact, according to computer maker Hewlett-Packard, screen savers eat up 28% more energy than putting a computer into sleep mode.
- Turn off all of your computers and your network server at the end of the work day. This one is a no brainer.
Business Practices In addition to your office activities, there are business practices that will save you money.
- Use on-line services for conference calls and on-line collaborations instead of driving to visit a client. Make sure the client has the necessary software installed before hand to make sure connections are made in a timely fashion.
- Plan your routes. Remote site employees should take time to plan the most fuel efficient routes to meet the client roster for the day. No doubling back. Also, before you make that long drive, make sure the client is available for the meeting. Call from the road before driving to the remote site.
- If your business makes deliveries of products, never let a truck leave the warehouse half-full. Hold off a day or use a smaller truck. That empty space still uses up fuel but it doesn’t deliver any benefit – literally.