Ten Green Tips for Small Businesses

By Stefanie Neyland, Bizlaunch.com

Earth Day is just around the corner, and that means creating an eco-friendly work environment is becoming a priority for many businesses. As the green movement works its way into the corporate world, smaller companies are starting to get in on the act; and the good news is that whether you run a home-based business or bricks-and-mortar premises, there are many simple things you can do to join the green crusade. Here you’ll find ten top tips on how to run your business eco-consciously.

1. Turn off equipment that’s not in use
When the office is empty nobody will be making photocopies or drinking coffee. So before leaving for the night, ask the last person out of the office to switch off accessories such as coffee makers and desk fans. When all the equipment is tallied up, the savings can be substantial.

2. Buy recycled paper
Recycled paper is an eco-friendly choice for the environmentally conscious. Look for paper with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content that’s unbleached, uncoloured and processed chlorine (PCF) free. Staples offer a selection of recycled paper from brands such as HammerMill and HP, or you can make big savings by buying Staples own brand.

3. Virtualize your business
Do away with years’ worth of printouts and go virtual. Virtualization technologies – whether they’re in the form of servers, storage or desktops – are an efficient way of managing documents and can significantly reduce your office power consumption. Encouraging communications by email and reading messages on-screen also reduces paper waste.

4. Condense your office supplies with all-in-one equipment
Consolidate your office machinery by investing in all-in-one equipment. With these multifunction devices, you can expect up to a 50 per cent reduction in energy when compared to using individual fax machines, printers and copiers.

5. Recycle your computer and technology
Recycling your computers and other old technology is another easy and effective way to go green. Bring your old office products to your local Staples store and they’ll responsibly and securely recycle them for free – no matter the brand, condition or where the item was originally purchased from.

6. Recycle ink toners and cartridges
Recycling alone won’t save the planet, but when you’re recycling your office technology, waste, cartridges and toners – it all adds up.

7. Produce double-sided documents

Save trees by setting your printer’s default mode to double-sided printing. Also try attaching scans to emails instead of printing and mailing documents.

8. Buy refurbished office furniture
Where possible, buy gently used or refurbished office furniture and fixtures. It’s less expensive than buying brand new equipment and allows you to do your bit for the environment. Also consider setting up free office furniture exchange events, and donate unwanted items to organizations in need.

9. Turn out the lights
We’re all guilty of leaving lights on and using too many of them at any one time, so making a conscious effort to cut back on unnecessary lighting is a surefire way to lower your energy consumption. Also consider investing in occupancy sensors for areas of the office that aren’t used as much, such as conference rooms and break rooms.

10. Buy eco-friendly products
From eco-conscious cleaning supplies to compostable cups, there are a wealth of green products on the market for just about every area of your business. Browse the Staples website or visit the Shop Green Products page for the full range of items.

By Adam

April 26, 2013