If you’re running a business, you should be aware of your company’s impact on the environment. We can only help the planet if we all work together, so you’ll want to change how your business runs.
You can make six primary changes in your business to help the environment. We covered them in detail in this post, so keep reading to learn more! Let’s begin.
1. Reduce Worker Travel
One of the best things your business can do for the environment is to reduce travel. Cars burn fuel and release carbon dioxide, plus many other greenhouse gasses, into the atmosphere. These gasses can trap heat, leading to faster global warming. Plus, cars take up many non-renewable resources to produce and run every day.
Air travel is even worse for the environment than cars. While you might be unable to cut back on all worker travel, reducing it slightly can significantly benefit the environment.
The most effective option is offering more opportunities for remote work. Your employees will drive less, reducing the greenhouse gasses their cars create. Even having a few days a week of remote working is beneficial.
You can also offer carpooling services and encourage those nearby to walk or ride a bike to work. Encouraging employees to use public transport more is also a good option. Offering incentives to those who try to reduce how often they use their car to commute is helpful and can be fun for employees.
Overall, you have many options for reducing how much your employees travel.
Next, you can also start using more sustainable products in your workplace. That means you’ll need to research what products your company buys, but it’s well worth it.
Many products aren’t sustainable, which harms the environment during manufacturing. One of the biggest offenders would be paper products, especially toilet paper and printing paper. Make sure to choose recycled paper products or ones you can recycle after use.
You’ll want to switch to more sustainable cleaning products too. Generally, green cleaning products don’t use phosphates, artificial coloring or scents, and chlorine.
Recyclable and biodegradable packaging on anything you buy is also extremely helpful to the environment. Even small businesses use tons of plastic, cardboard, and paper packaging, so switching as much of it to be sustainable is highly beneficial.
3. Increase Office Recycling
Office recycling comes with many benefits. It reduces the number of resources that we use as a whole, creates more jobs, and saves your business money. You can easily encourage your employees to recyc
le more by adding some more recycling bins to the office near garbage cans. Most people will use them naturally when they see them.
On average, a single US worker uses around 500 disposable cups a year! Even if you’re part of a small business, that adds up fast. Offering recycling services can prevent those cups from going to a landfill forever.
Overall, you can use local recycling company services to reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Your employees will also take note of the effort that you put in and do the same.
You can also provide employees with reusable water bottles and coffee mugs. Employees are much more likely to use them when you give them to them. Plus, you’ll save in the long run since you won’t need to keep buying disposable items for your team to use. Many employees also appreciate the gesture.
It’s also fun to design water bottles and mugs with company logos; employees might like using them more at work. However, you don’t need to do anything too fancy; as long as you provide reusable alternatives, your environmental impact improves significantly
.5. Start Composting
Do your employees bring their lunches and snacks to work? Start encouraging your employees to participate in a composting program. Any food can turn into compost, keeping it out of landfills and allowing it to become soil. You can offer benefits to make it more enticing to your team.
Many people are interested in composting and gardening, so these programs make for the perfect opportunity for your staff to learn. Plus, you can use the compost to start a community garden outside the office. Or, once the food scraps compost, you can offer it to your employees to take home for their gardens and plants.
Businesses can also offer their compost to parks and other public spaces to grow flowers, trees, and even food gardens. You can always ask your team to vote on what they think the best use of the compost is.
Lastly, you’ll want to reduce energy usage in your building. There are several ways that you can do this, including:
- Replacing incandescent lightbulbs with LEDs.
- Switching to more energy-efficient appliances and tools.
- Unplugging electronics when the building is closed.
- Adding timer systems to lights.
While some of these options cost more upfront, your business will use less power in the long term. So, over time you also end up spending less on energy. Using less energy is better overall, but everyone in your building must participate for it to work.
On average, small and medium-sized office buildings in the US use 15 kilowatt-hours of energy per square foot each year. That’s a lot, and those costs do add up. Plus, the price of power is constantly increasing, so reducing energy consumption can save your business a ton of money. You can put the savings towards other projects.
The sooner your business starts implementing some of these changes, the sooner you can reduce your negative environmental impact. Some of these changes also take more time to work on, so starting as soon as possible is best.
In short, there are several things that you can do to help. Adding recycling options, offering reusable products, and reducing worker travel are some of the most effective choices.
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