How To Help Your SMB Become Green In 2021
Over the last several years, more countries and companies have pledged to reduce their CO2 emissions to combat the worsening climate crisis. And based on relevant statistics, these high-level decisions have resulted in considerable improvement, with CO2 emissions from energy consumption in the U.S. dropping from 6 million metric tons in 2005 down to 5.1 million metric tons in 2019. Nevertheless, more work needs to be done to curb carbon footprint permanently. Here are six ways to do just that:
Switch to Digital Filing and Storage
According to The Daily Green, paper accounts for a quarter of waste that ends up in landfills. If the U.S. can consume 10% less office paper, it can curb up to 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. If you factor in other office supplies, such as ink cartridges, tape, and staplers, the amount of CO2 emissions you prevent exponentially increases. Switch to paperless documents by using a digital filing system to secure your business’ data. Not only does going paperless lead to a lower carbon footprint, but it can also curb costs.
Switch from Incandescent to LED Bulbs
LED bulbs have been shown to perform better than both incandescent and compact fluorescent lights when it comes to energy efficiency and sustainability. LED lamps have been tested to convert electricity into the light 90% more efficiently than incandescent bulbs and up to 80% better than fluorescent bulbs. There is also a noticeable difference in the quality of light between LED lightbulbs and their two subpar predecessors. LEDs can generate a more focused glow, which means fewer bulbs are needed to light up a given space.
Buy Eco-Friendly Cleaning Supplies
Nowadays, there is a much more comprehensive selection of environmentally friendly cleaning supplies than ten years ago. By switching to eco-friendly cleaning alternatives, such as glass cleaners, dishwashing and handwashing soaps, laundry detergents, stain and spot removers, and disinfecting wipes, you help lower the millions tons of plastic waste that ends up in landfills each year. While there is no single provider of eco-friendly products, some labels to look for include Green Seal, Fair Trade Certified, and Leaping Bunny.
Increase Your Recycling Efforts
By being a better recycler, you lower the consumption of goods, which lowers demand and the ultimate need for people to extract raw materials from the earth. Recycling also reduces landfill waste, which means lower energy consumed to process said waste. You can start by adding more recycling bins or stations within your business or office space. The more recycling areas you have, the easier it is for you and your employees to consistently practice this increasingly important habit. You can also donate usable materials, such as wood planks, bricks, electronics, and machinery, to non-profit organizations involved in construction projects for the less fortunate.
Keep Your Equipment and Machinery in Good Shape
Immediately fix any plumbing leaks or dripping taps that may be increasing your water consumption and, consequently, your water bill. Prolong the lifespan of your business’ electronic devices by maintaining optimal temperatures at all times to avoid said devices from overheating. Protect any industrial equipment from extreme stresses and wear-and-tear by opting for forge coating, improving its lifespan and performance. You can also use a brick refractory coating to treat other industrial appliances, such as kilns, furnaces, and ovens.
Distribute Reusable Swag
Encourage your employees to switch from plastic or paper cups to a reusable metal water bottle. A reusable bottle should also supplant coffee cups in your business’ break room. Every year, the average office employee uses 500 coffee cups, all of which end up in landfills. In addition to reusable water bottles, you should also distribute reusable metal forks, spoons, and straws that are foldable and portable enough for employees to bring to and from work quickly. As a small business owner, you have the power to decide which direction your business takes in terms of its environmental impact. By adopting the quick fixes and long-term solutions aforementioned in this article, your business can do its part in helping curb the climate crisis while also gaining a boost in performance and profitability. As a bonus, by publicly showing your efforts to help the environment, you also improve your brand’s image as a positive entity within your local community.