Environmentally-friendly businesses can attract more customers much in the same way that companies who regularly donate to charity can see a boost. Consumers like shopping with companies who have the same values. Yet, going green is often tougher for small businesses without big budgets. Making sustainable environment choices doesn’t have to cost big bucks, however — and can even save companies money in the long run. Here are seven ways small businesses can go green without spending too much green.
Replace light bulbs.
LED lights used to have a luxury price, but now off-brands have brought the prices to affordable levels. Since LEDs last ten times longer and use only a quarter of the energy costs, those few extra dollars for the bulb will turn into a long-term savings while being eco-conscious.
Turn off at the end of the day — or use timers.
A significant portion of energy costs — and emissions — comes from idle gadgets. At the end of the day, turn everything off, from computers to cash registers. To simplify the task, use power strips to turn off multiple devices at once, or use timers. Installing motion sensors in areas without much traffic can also help.
Besides just making your small business feel more cozy and less stale-big-box-store, indoor plants can help clean the air — and show customers you’re serious about going green. A few well-placed plants inside crate a more relaxed environment while doing their job cleaning up the air. A few good varieties are spider plants, peace lilies, ferns and aloe vera.
That greenery doesn’t just have to include houseplants either. When updating the landscaping around your business, be sure to choose plants that are native to the area and species that don’t require constant watering.
Consider energy efficiency when buying anything that plugs in.
Whether you are looking for a new computer or a refrigerator for the break room, you should always check their Energy Star rating. Once any office equipment is ready for a replace, look for models that conserve less energy. For example, laptops tend to use less energy than desktop computers.
Check the ingredients.
From cleaning products to printer ink, check any products you buy for ingredients that are harsh for the environment. Try switching to green cleaners, inks and papers to start.
Emailing receipts is more environmentally friendly — plus Entrepreneur adds that this method also allows you to get customers emails for marketing purposes. Using email and social media marketing is also more environmentally friendly than mass producing lots of flyers, though there are still some good occasions for printing on recycled paper.
Recycle and re-use.
Small businesses can both save money and go green by buying some products used. Buying gently used office furniture saves it from taking up a landfill and is also more budget-friendly.
As consumers become more environmentally conscious, they prefer to shop at businesses that hold similar standards. By adjusting a few habits, businesses can reduce their impact on the environment while often saving money in the long run.