Tips on How to Green Your Business
More resources at the bottom of this page...
- Develop a company green plan that is posted for all employees to read.
- Offer employees green rewards for taking actions that reduce environmental impact.
- Have employees use their own mugs to avoid disposable coffee cups that have to be thrown away.
- Print double-sided
- Make the effort to remove your business from unwanted catalogs and mailings.
- Provide enough kitchen facilities that employees can bring a home-packed lunch. Keep reusable plates, cups, forks, spoons, etc. that you don’t need any disposable items.
- Conduct a waste audit
- Setup a business recycling service and provide bins so that staff and/or customers can recycle cans, glass, plastic, paper/cardboard, etc.
- Take all e-waste to an electronic waste collection event or station. Never throw away electronic items.
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Reduce packaging to ship or offer your products
- Discontinue use of styrofoam cups and to-go containers
- Discontinue use of plastic bags
- Try to avoid anything that is disposable and not reusable or recylable
- Turn computers and other appliances off when not in use
- Configure computers to go into sleep mode after 10 minutes
- Eliminate inefficient and unnecessary lighting.
- Upgrade to more efficient lighting
- Purchase Energy Star appliances
- Use occupancy sensors
- Use natural ventilation (windows) to regulate temperature.
- Use water-conserving fixtures and plumbing such as reduced flow taps, waterless urinals, high-efficiency toilets.
- Use native and drought-tolerant plants in landscaping
- Configure irrigation controller to minimize water usage.
- Avoid cleaning outdoor areas with water
Transportation & Biz Travel
- Allow employees to work flextime to avoid peak commuting times.
- Allow employees to work from home when possible
- Provide incentives to walk, bike, take public transportation, or car-pool to work.
- Find ways to avoid air travel that is not absolutely necessary. Hold virtual meetings, etc.
- Buy carbon offsets for air travel
- Purchase only Energy-Star compliant office equipment
- Use long-life refillable pens made from recycled plastic, paper, or timber or from fully biodegradable bioplastic.
- Buy pencils made from sustainably harvested timber or wood substitutes.
- Purchase organic and fair-trade labeled coffee
- Purchase stationary supplies made from recycled materials
- Purchase computers that are ranked highly by the Green Electronic Council’s Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool. Minimize the need to replace computers so often by choosing models whose life can be extended through upgrades and repair.
- Purchase office/printing paper with 30% recycled content.
- Use re-fillable printer cartridges or a remanufacturer.
- Purchase office furniture made from recycled or sustainably harvested nontoxic materials and designed so they can be dissembled for reuse at the end of their life or buy re-furbished office furniture.
- Purchase napkins, toilet paper, and paper towels made with 100% recycled content.
- Purchase items that are made in California or the U.S. versus distant countries.
- Buy recycled products whenever possible
- If your business purchases food items, choose produce, meats and other products that are organic and grown/raised locally.
Printing & Marketing
- Reduce printing
- Print on recycled paper using eco-friendly ink
- Use email instead of sending printed marketing pieces
- Use green, non-toxic cleaning supplies
- Use a cleaning contractor committed to clean and green products and processes.
- Non-toxic paints and a wide range of other new products
View four pages of ideas and resources for greening your business provided by Rhonda Chaikin, owner of HMR Associates, which helps local businesses "go green" by assessing their building and operations and recommending ways that they can reduce their environmental impact. For more information visit www.hmrassociates.net.
10 ways to go green at work by Sierra Club
10 tips to prevent global warming for your home-based business by eMoms.com