As Starbucks gives plastic straws the axe, many entrepreneurs are thinking of ways that they can lessen their eco-footprint and become a more sustainable business. From encouraging employees to ditch water bottles and embrace refillable pens to using green web hosting, there are plenty of easy ways to make a business greener and practice social responsibility in the office place.
Did you know that more than four million disposable pens are thrown away in the U.S. every single day? Making simple office supply swaps like using refillable pens can help lessen the load on landfills and save businesses money over the long-run. The same applies to the kitchen. Instead of stocking cabinets with disposable plates, cups and cutlery, investing in reusable dishes and silverware is a more sustainable business solution. Make it a rule that everyone in the office is responsible for washing their own dishes and keeping the sink clear of piling dishes.
Here’s a (not so) fun fact: For every six water bottles that Americans buy, only one is recycled! Instead of stocking the refrigerator with bottled water, install a water bottle filling station instead, which encourages employees to re-use the same bottle or glass each time they need to quench their thirst.
Encourage employees to bring a reusable container to refill throughout the day, and cut down on the amount of water bottles they buy to stay hydrated during their work day. Better yet, consider having a sleek water bottle or tumbler branded with your company’s logo and hand it out to employees and new hires — which is a great way to mobile market your brand while being eco-friendly!
Having an online presence is a non-negotiable for modern businesses. You may not realize it, but web hosting can have a significant impact on the environment and, with small changes, can help your company become a more sustainable business.
Data centers use a considerable amount of energy, relying on thousands of high-powered computers with high CPU and drive usage. These powerful systems are continuously running, requiring the use of an intricate cooling system to prevent it from overheating. Green web hosting companies, like Green Geeks and Kualo, are often powered entirely by renewable energy and make smart use of available resources. Many match the amount of energy that they use and pay to generate the same amount (or more), and pump it back into the power grid.
Building a more sustainable business can simply start by ditching the paper, avoiding printing agendas, employee training manuals, meeting notes and even handing out physical paycheck. All of these are routine office procedures that result in a great deal of unnecessary waste — so turn to a more digital process!
Think of ways that you can streamline operational processes, reduce your paper usage and create more sustainable business practices. This can include emailing agendas ahead of time and encouraging employees to bring laptops to meetings, displaying notes on a screen and using onboarding software to train new employees. Try digitizing as much paperwork as you can, including W2s and invoices.
Lead image via Getty
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