Sustainability should be one of your business’s core values. Anything involving production often comes at a cost to the planet, and adhering to sustainable practices can negate or offset some of the damage. Here are some ways to promote eco-friendliness in the business side of your life — which might benefit your personal life, too. Read on Essential Ways for Small Businesses to Practice Sustainability.
Essential Ways for Small Businesses to Practice Sustainability
1. Offer Remote Work
Remote work is now more common than ever. You might allow employees to work from home all the time or a few days out of the week. Offering total flexibility and letting people work from wherever they want could result in a 4.4% increase in productivity, which is great for your employees’ mental health and your business’s growth. People who are treated well will enjoy working with you and furthering your mission toward sustainability.
2. Opt for Sustainable Packaging
One of the best ways to make your business more sustainable is to use packaging that can be recycled from start to finish. Packing your products with parts that don’t break down easily adds clutter to landfills and does not communicate what your small business stands for. Switching to more sustainable packaging can tell people about your values and encourage them to purchase from you more while strengthening your reputation.
3. Furnish Your Office Well
You can make your office cozy and sustainable by adding the right decor. Introduce products that can be recycled at the end of their life spans, which can encourage others to purchase items of their own that can follow the same journey. Show the importance of buying and furnishing sustainably and potentially supporting other small businesses with the Earth’s well-being in mind.
Plus, how you decorate your office can say several things about your company. It can set the vibe for your business by telling your team members to have a more relaxed or professional view of work. Dress your office up however you want your employees to feel.
4. Move Toward Carbon Neutrality
Being carbon-negative can be difficult for any business that creates products, but you can at least aim for neutrality. If you can’t reduce your company’s carbon footprint enough to become neutral, you can buy carbon offsets to help make up for the environmental production costs. You can purchase them from nonprofit organizations with missions you support. It can create a net zero carbon emission and improve your business.
5. Tackle Challenges With Team Members
Taking on a sustainability challenge is a great way to encourage team members to make a change and keep you accountable as you pivot to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. You can incentivize employees to complete a month-long challenge with you. Gift cards and bonuses are enticing and can prompt healthy competition among workers.
Encourage your employees to share their unnecessary purchases for a month — if they’re comfortable with it. Prompt them to embrace slow fashion by buying clothing secondhand, which costs far less than buying new clothes, and try more sustainable cleaning methods. Show them what sustainability can look like in their everyday purchases, and they might be excited to make some changes in their lives.
6. Switch to Energy-Efficient Appliances
Making a tiny switch can benefit your business so much. Energy-efficient lighting is often brighter and can last far longer than incandescent bulbs. LED lights also give off less heat, so you won’t have to overwork your air conditioner to cool off your space. Saving energy can also save money in your office space — wherever it might be.
At the same time, you can upgrade any other appliances in your office. Smart thermostats can be programmed to a certain temperature to save energy costs. Upgrade to an energy-efficient refrigerator to reduce power usage and keep more money in your pocket.
7. Implement a Composting Program
Consider creating a composting program that the whole business — and maybe your entire building if you work in a suite — can participate in. A compost pile includes dead leaves, grass clippings, leftover food and other material that can return nutrients to the soil. It can help plants retain moisture and repels pests that would otherwise eat them, beautifying the landscape of your office building. Plus, it keeps unnecessary trash out of landfills.
Focus on Sustainable Practices
Sustainability goes a long way and ensures the world is a better place for years to come. Even if you think your small business can’t make a difference, it can inspire others and encourage people to buy more from you. Small changes can improve your company and your wallet by helping you save money and position yourself as a leader in the green movement.
Simple switches can go a long way and communicate your core values to team members and customers, bringing more attention to your business. Ultimately, you’ll feel good by supporting the planet and adhering to sustainable practices.
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