5 Ways Small Businesses can Celebrate Earth Day

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5 Ways Small Businesses can Celebrate Earth Day

Today is Earth Day! A national holiday dedicated to the awesomeness that is Mother Earth and how we can, for at least one day, do something to decrease the terrible impact we have on her.

Every year, you start to see commercials, articles, and blog posts dedicated to April 22, Earth Day. You’ll see how we as the human race can make small changes in our every day lives to have a better impact on the Earth. But what about small businesses? Without trying many small businesses leave a large carbon footprint that they too can decrease with just small changes in their daily practices. Below, check out 5 simple ways small businesses can celebrate Earth Day…every day!

5-Ways-Small-Businesses-Can-Celebrate-Earth-Day

Go Digital. With payment gateways such as Square, Intuit, and even Paypal that allows you to swipe cards and your guests to make purchases easily, while giving them the option of having a tangible receipt, having it texted, or even emailed directly to them, small businesses can save TONS on paper waste from discarded and unnecessary receipts. If you small business operates a register, look into using one of the above and research more payment gateways and credit card machines that have the option of emailing the customers’ receipt to them. Other ways for small businesses to go digital is to better use email or project management software. Here at SOA, we alleviate some of the clutter in email as well as having to print out multiple versions of the same document by using Asana for tasks and due dates.

Recycle. I remember as an event coordinator for an event decor company here in Atlanta, we had a few recycle bins. We recycled paper, plastic bottles, and cans. Your company can do something similar and take it further! Other items you can recycle: electronics– think about the amount of monitors, keyboards, and mice you have collecting dust in that old closet; clothing– that lost and found could be put to good use since no one wants to collect their things; dvds and cds– honestly how many training videos and product software do you have sitting in your desk right now that you will never see again? Recycle them! And if your a more creative company, reuse them for some pretty clever decorations! {CD chandelier anyone?}

Create a company garden. Many corporate offices and small businesses have green space that they aren’t currently doing much with. It would not only be a great contribution to the Earth to plant a garden, but it can also be an amazing team building exercise. Get everyone in every department involved in the plant picking process and all of you get down and dirty! Think about planting flowers that will add to the outside aesthetic of the building, are super easy to maintain, as well as items that can commemorate the occasion such as large stones, a memorial bench, a water fountain, or a birdhouse.

Half day/ telecommute. Many large companies haven’t really grasped the concept of telecommuting or teleworking. They want to believe that if you work from home you are less productive and that they’ll lose money because they are paying you for “down time.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Allowing workers to telecommute to work will decrease the amount of emissions being blown into the air. If a handful of workers got together to commute to work “the greenhouse gas reduction would be equivalent to taking the entire state of New York workforce off the road permanently.” (Global Workplace Analytics, 2012). Workers who work from home or work half in the office and half at home have proven to be some of the most productive people in the workplace. Small businesses, can allow for 1-2 home work days to their employees who request it. This will help businesses save both electricity as well as money.

Turn off when not in use.” You’ve seen this sign in numerous places around the workplace. Do the lights in the bathroom need to be on through-out the entire day? Why not set up a light timer that goes off when there aren’t any occupants in the restrooms. Does your printers have an idle mode that allows it to “fall asleep” when not in use? Do the office monitors switch to screensaver if not in use for a certain period of time? There are a plethora of electronics that stay on in your office that don’t have to. Read your instruction manuals to find out how to make your office equipment more energy efficient and when it comes time to purchase some new ones, go for the ones with a good EnergyStar rating!

Small businesses don’t have to be afraid that by finding ways to save the planet that they will incur costs. Simple changes every day can make a huge impact over time. As small businesses start to make the switch eventually larger businesses will add to the fold. What are some ways your small business is celebrating Earth Day…every day? Leave a comment below!

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