The “go green” and “save the planet” trend is sweeping the globe, encouraging millions of people to change how they consume goods and services. With consumers making these sacrifices to reduce waste and carbon emissions, the spotlight is now turning to the commercial sector. People are watching how businesses are doing their part, which means it is no longer an option for entrepreneurs and business owners if they want to embrace the trend; it’s now an imperative. Not going green can put you in a negative position from a branding perspective.
Perhaps one of the key reasons why businesses aren’t so excited about going green is the cost associated with the transition. It can be expensive to change standard business practices in the pursuit of saving the environment. Fortunately, businesses can go green without spending a large chunk of money.
Here are some ways to do just that:
Decorate Your Office With Used or Eco-Friendly Furniture
When shopping for office furniture, including desks, chairs, drawers, and break room tables, go for second-hand furniture. Choosing to buy used items in good condition can lower your furniture expenses by half and prevent these items from ending up in landfill, where it takes a large amount of resources to process them. You can even purchase used pieces that are high-quality or collector’s items, which means these pieces retain their value over time. When shopping for office furniture, make a conscious decision to choose furniture brands that implement sustainable practices and use green materials.
Switch to Energy-Efficient Lights
Compact fluorescent light bulbs, or CFLs, are still a very common fixture in most modern commercial offices despite the fact that LEDs have been readily accessible now for decades. LEDs have been tested and proven to consume up to 30 percent less power than their CFL and incandescent light bulb counterparts. Additionally, light emitting diode bulbs have been shown to last 25 times longer, which means you don’t have to regularly switch out the bulbs in your office. In fact, high-quality LED bulbs can last for up to 20 years, given the proper maintenance and use.
Switch to Cleaner Lithium Ion Batteries
The traditional process of generating lithium-ion battery cells can be expensive, resource-intensive, and environmentally harmful. The process requires the use of toxic solvents to dissolve the polymer binder while the electrode is being coated. The solvents must then be taken off and collected back before the battery cells can be assembled. And to assemble them, the facility uses energy-inefficient vacuum systems and ovens. A lithium ion deep cycle battery comes as a greener alternative as it eliminates the need for toxic solvents and power-hungry ovens and vacuums.
Adopt the Work-From-Home Culture
The new generation of workers are being afforded something that recent generations weren’t able to do – work entirely from the comforts of their home. A work-from-home workforce is actually a win-win scenario for both employees and the business. Employees save time and money from the long, grueling back-and-forth commute while the business owner avoids the high costs of housing employees in a physical office. By allowing your workforce to work entirely or partially from home, you eliminate cars on the road, which means lower carbon emissions over time. You also don’t use up as much power in your office.
Encourage Healthier Eating Habits
Healthier employees equate to reduced healthcare expenses for the business. If your office has a break room or cafeteria, modify the foods that are stocked in the pantry. Instead of chips, candies, and soda beverages in your vending machine, switch to whole grain cereals, yogurt, and other healthier snack options. Encourage people to eat less produce as well. Poultry, including beef and pork, consumes a lot of land and creates a ton of greenhouse gasses per year. By encouraging your employees to eat more greens and grains, you are reducing your business’ carbon footprint by a huge amount.
Going green not only helps you cultivate positive branding for your business, but it also helps you streamline your bottom line by eliminating traditionally expensive processes that also happen to be bad for the environment. Note that the aforementioned changes are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to modifications you can do to drive a greener business. Consult with industry experts and listen to your market to get more ideas of how you can go green while also saving money.