How to Save Your Business Money by Going Green

Thinking of making your small business greener? You can save money and earn credits and incentives from your state.

The Database of State Incentives is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the N.C. Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Visit this link to check out incentives in your state: http://dsireusa.org/

The following blog post was published a few days ago and offers some amazing tips for saving your business money by having eco-friendly business practices.


How to Save Money by Going Green

By Guest Blogger Shel Horowitz

Permission to Publish: As long as the biographical slug is included unedited (or edits cleared with the author), permission is freely given to republish and repost, in whole or in part. The slug must be included.

Most businesses waste lots of money on energy and paper—but a lot of the fixes are easy and cheap (even free). Here are a few among many easy ways to lower your power consumption, and your cost:

Save Energy:

  • Insulate outlets on exterior walls. Foam gaskets take about a minute each to install. Baby-safety outlet protectors install in two seconds. These two simple measures will vastly lower the amount of wrong-temperature air that comes in from the outside.
  • Plug computers, peripherals, coffee pots, audio and video equipment, and other appliances into surge suppressors, and turn off the power strips when you close for the night, or when they’re not going to be used for a few hours. Train your staff to hit the switch.
  • Turn off unneeded lights on sunny days and at night.
  • Expand your temperature comfort range, gradually. Turn the heat down in the winter, and the A/C up in the summer. Start with just two or three degrees, then when people have acclimated, do it again. If you have windows that open, use them in warm weather.
  • Pull drapes closed on cold winter nights and hot summer days, and open them on sunny winter days or cool summer nights.

Save Paper (and Toner):

  • Switch to duplexing printers, and train staff to print on both sides of the page.
  • Use draft mode to consume less toner.
  • Consider, before printing, whether you really need a paper copy.
  • Rather than ordering (and then wasting) quantities of letterhead, design electronic letterhead you can incorporate into your document so it automatically prints each time you need it.

Save Gasoline:

  • Provide incentives for employees to bike, carpool, use public transit, and/or telecommute.
  • If rush-hour traffic is an issue at your location, start a flex-time program that has employees spending more time working productively and less time burning gas and moving one mile an hour.
  • Source as many products locally as possible (restaurant and grocery owners, among other businesses, can make this a huge marketing advantage, too).
  • Examine driving patterns for delivery vehicles, etc., and develop routes that maximize efficiency.
  • When buying new corporate vehicles, look for the smallest and most fuel-efficient that will get the job done.
  • Maintain all vehicles properly. Routine servicing and proper tire inflation can preserve a vehicle for many years.

Reduce Waste:

  • Switch from wasteful bottled water to filtered tap water, if you’re based in a place with good water (such as nearly all of the US, Canada, and Europe).
  • Reuse your waste. Paper or wall covering rolls, cardboard tubes, and scrap wood can be donated to schools and community centers for art projects. Wooden pallets, clean cardboard boxes, bubble mailers, and packing peanuts can be reused again for their original purpose. Working with a remanufacturer, old soda bottles can be turned into park benches, craft items, and tote bags. Food scraps can feed pigs or fuel vegetable oil-powered cars.
  • Use washable and replaceable items instead of throwaways: ceramic coffee mugs, rags or sponges instead of paper towels, reusable cloth napkins…

The primary author (with Jay Conrad Levinson) of the best-selling and award-winning book Guerrilla Marketing Goes Greenwww.guerrillamarketinggoesgreen.com, Shel Horowitz is a marketing and environmental consultant/speaker who helps businesses not only go Green but also effectively market their Green commitment. Emphasizing affordable, eco-friendly, and ethical approaches, he has served clients across North America, Europe, and Asia. He also writes the internationally syndicated monthly column, Green And Profitable. For a directory of all his websites, please visit www.shelhorowitz.com Reach him at 413-586-2388, shel@principledprofit.com, Twitter @ShelHorowitz

22-year veteran of strategy: brand, business, organizational, communications. Certified in project management and regulatory compliance. Fan of dark tea, thick books, peace, and unity.

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