In part 1 of this article we considered a number of ways you can save money by going green. Here are some more ways you should consider. Business Practices
- Invest in fuel-efficient automobiles when you replace your old gas-guzzlers. Think hybrids. The most fuel-efficient models can save you thousands of dollars in the costs of petrol every year, boosting your margins.
- Make sure your business fleet tires are properly inflated. Properly inflated tires save 3.3% on petrol costs for every mile you drive. (Again, do the math.)
- When employees (or you) must fly, take the most direct route. It may cost a few extra dollars for the non-stop route but you save on jet fuel and that’s just a plain nice thing to do.
- Walk, ride a bicycle or take mass transit to work. Obvious.
- Tele-commute. If employees can work from home let them. It saves time, money, petrol and it boosts morale.
- Consider switching to a four-day work week. Studies show that most workers would prefer to work four 10-hour days than five 8-hour days. Just make sure the office is covered throughout the work week and off hours as needed. And again, this is a morale booster for staff.
Boosting Your Overall “Greenness” Then there are simple practices that you can apply in the workplace, on the road or at home. These are NOT life-altering steps, but they just may alter the health of the planet today, tomorrow and into the future, making the planet a safer, healthier place for our children, grandchildren and even our great grandchildren.
- Use re-useable cloth bags instead of plastic bags in the office or at home. Cloth biodegrades. Long-chain polymer plastic molecules will be here for thousands of years, clogging landfills, oceans and the garbage disposal.
- Turn off appliances in the office when not in use. If you know the computer is down for the day, turn it off. Same with TVs, music systems and other energy consuming devices.
- Replace incandescent lights with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. CFLs cut lighting costs by 25% and that’s money that gets added right to your bottom line.
- Use LED lighting. This technology uses even less energy. LED lighting is improving every year.
- Unplug battery chargers, cell phone chargers and other recharging devices when the device is fully charged. Even though rechargers aren’t pumping juice to your electronic gizmo, they still draw and waste power.
- Use cloth towels in restrooms instead of paper towels or electric hand drying machines. Cloth is easily cleaned, recycled and used over and over.
- Purchase products that come with the least amount of packaging. Some products come in big boxes with plastic covers, shrink wrapped. This is pure waste, whether at home or in the office. If you have a choice of simple packaging or layers of packaging, what do you think is best for your business and the environment?
- Purchase appliances with the Energy Star certification. These tools have passed rigorous inspections to receive that coveted Energy Star and, long term, they save you money no matter where you use them.
- Use a recycling service. These innovative businesses come to your office (or home) and take everything that can and should be recycled, from car batteries to stacks of cardboard boxes.
- Think green. Make it part of your corporate culture and your daily life. We live on a fragile planet and every step you can take to save energy and recycle goods helps.
- Tune up your HVAC systems annually. You’ll more than make up the costs of that tune up by using less energy.
Finally, advertise your business’ “greenness.” Use a green web host for your web site and display the hosting services emblem on your web site. “Green” is growing fast in almost every sector of the business realm. Clients look for these signs of a caring company that utilises green technology to improve the health of the planet. It’s a great selling point, it improves employee morale and it boosts your bottom line. It’s a good time to reflect on ways you can make your business greener. It starts at the top, with you – the owner or office manager, regional sales director or sole proprietor. It’s good for growing margins, it’s good for your employees and it’s good for your bottom line.