Earth Day is almost here! This holiday has brought out the green in people since the 1970’s, but one day isn’t enough. The environment is affected most by the little choices we make every day. Planting a tree or recycling more are nice initiatives, but incorporating sustainable practices into our daily and business operations has an even greater impact.
As entrepreneurs we’re very busy, and time is money. You may think that your business is too small to bother about being green, but earth-friendly choices are actually good for the pocket book as well. And getting involved with local green initiatives can be a great way to build a positive reputation and valuable contacts in the community.
5 Easy Ways To Be An Eco-Friendly Entrepreneur
1. Go Paperless – Printer paper and ink are an unnecessary expense in this digital world. Except when it’s absolutely essential, create all documents and marketing materials in a digital form, and store them in the cloud. Send and receive virtual faxes rather than paper ones. Send your invoices via email rather than mailing them. Send digital PDF proofs instead of print outs. When you must create a hard copy of something, always print double sided.
2. Go Virtual – It’s nice to have face to face meetings, but driving or flying is expensive and leaves a huge carbon footprint. Thanks to free technologies like Skype or Google+ Hangouts, it’s possible to see and be seen by out of town clients without the hassle of traveling.
3. Go Gasless – Since most of us have local clients, it’s not always smart to avoid face to face meetings. But there’s still no reason to get your car involved. Fort Collins is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country, so why use four wheels when two will do? Not only will you save on gas, but you’ll never have to worry about finding a parking spot when you’re running late.
4. Go Shareably – Think before you buy, especially if it’s something that you only need for a few hours or days. Cohere creates the perfect environment for recycling things you no longer need or scoring things that would have otherwise been thrown away. Before buying that new office chair, pedal crank, or bunt pan, throw up a request on the Cohere Facebook Group (if you’re a Cohere member and have not yet been added, tell us!). Chance are, we’ve got one lying around.
5. Go Local – Being an entrepreneur has lots of benefits, not the least of which is complete control of your supply chain and the clients with whom you work. This probably goes without saying, but choosing local businesses for office supplies, catering, web hosting, graphic design, copy writing, marketing, legal advice, or happy hour is the single most important way to go green (Hint: a lot of these business owners sit right next to you!). Keeping it in town enhances the local economy, reduces carbon emissions from shipping, allows you to choose sustainable materials, and builds good karma.
Image via opensourceway/Flickr