In a culture where “going green” is quickly becoming the norm, people expect to work with businesses that are environmentally friendly. Everywhere you look, large organizations are converting to solar energy and reaping the tax benefits.
But what about entrepreneurs and small business owners? Can they realize the benefits of running an eco-friendly business without sinking a ton of money into green practices? Absolutely! Following are some quick and inexpensive ways to implement green practices on a budget:
Install Recycling Bins
No matter how virtual your business model is, you still use recyclable products like paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, and aluminum. Placing recycling bins in your office is an easy first step to reducing your carbon footprint. If you’ve thought about recycling office products but aren’t sure where to start, check out paperrecycles.org for a guide and checklist of all the items you can start recycling.
Consider a Co-working Center
If you’ve never considered a co-working center, this environmentally friendly office solution might be a perfect fit for your small business. Co-working centers are shared office spaces that let you rent the space that you need, from single desks to full blown conference rooms. All professionals working in the co-working center have access to common areas, printers, faxes, coffee machines, and Wi-Fi. Because you only pay for what you need, you are promoting green initiatives by sharing office equipment and resources with other entrepreneurs.
Scan and Digitize Documents
Once you have your recycling solution in place, it’s time to get rid of all of that paper clutter. Scan important documents, receipts, and business cards into a digital, searchable filing system. For less than $200, you’ll save filing cabinet space and printing costs and digitize your paper flow.
Invest in Remanufactured Toners
Small businesses go through a lot of toner for their office printer and copier. Thankfully, there is an environmentally-friendly option that saves money. Remanufactured toner cartridges typically work just as well as regular toner cartridges, and they reduce landfill waste. Reputable manufacturers of these toner cartridges usually guarantee their products and will collect used, empty cartridges for further recycling. Another benefit to using remanufactured toner is the cost. You’ll easily save 50% or more over new, brand-name toner cartridges.
Purchase Environmentally Friendly Office Furniture
If you’re setting up a new office or upgrading furniture, it’s a great time to look at eco-friendly options. You can save money by purchasing reclaimed and sustainable furniture from a company that specializes in green furniture solutions.
If you don’t have a lot of money for office furniture, consider purchasing items from yard sales, consignment shops, or local business that are relocating or closing their doors. Not only will you save money, you’ll several items from going to the landfill. Painting all your finds the same color will create a cohesive look and simple glass shelving placed on filing cabinets creates a modern look that won’t cost a fortune.
If you’re looking for a way to attract environmentally conscious employees and clients, consider using one or more of these green practices for your office. By going green, you are demonstrating your commitment to making this world a better place.
Kimberly Back is the Content Manager and Social Media Strategist for Virtual Vocations, an online job compilation service that helps job-seekers find legitimate telecommute opportunities while also providing useful and educational resources for remote workers.
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