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Developing a Green Business

These days everyone wants to do what they can to protect and preserve our environment. It doesn’t matter whether you are a business or individual, green is in. Many businesses even advertise that they use green practices. Not only is this smart marketing, but green practices can lower operating costs, and of course, protect our environment.

The most successful green businesses don't just sell the green concept, they live it. Selling green means being green, and this helps build your brand and image as socially responsible. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sponsors a wide variety of industry partnerships and product stewardship programs that aim to reduce the impact of industrial activities on the environment. Joining one of these programs helps you connect with others in your industry, grow your brand, and protect the environment and natural resources.

Here are ten easy-to-implement ideas for running a green business:

  1. Use less paper. Instead, send more emails, and you don’t have to print every email.

  2. Turn your computers off when they are not needed.

  3. Convert paper files to electronic files.

  4. Set up lights on motion sensors.

  5. Make recycling easy by placing a well-labeled recycling bin next to every trash area.

  6. Train your staff on all green issues.

  7. Use recycled paper.

  8. Move to e-fax rather that paper faxes.

  9. Install programmable thermostats to automate your HVAC system and to significantly scale back your heating and cooling when your business is not in operation.

  10. Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It's less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.

  11. By shopping locally, you reduce the amount of energy used for products or services to travel cross-country and you help the economic development of your community.

  12. Install low-cost energy monitors that can provide an accurate display of the cost and energy use of individual equipment.

  13. Find out if your state has any 'green rebates' or incentives for energy reduction.

  14. Plants not only look great, they help absorb indoor pollutants. Some low-maintenance plants include the Areca palm, English ivy, and the Spider plant.

Making your business green can not only help the environment but also save on overhead costs. With the amount of waste businesses create, making an effort to become sustainable is a great way to reduce a company’s carbon footprint.

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