Starting a business isn’t just about getting the loan, decorating the space and diving in anymore. As younger generations become consumers, voting with your dollar is more important. When Burger King launched the Impossible Whopper, locations saw an 18.5% increase in traffic after increasing options for vegetarian and vegan customers. Here’s 13 Ways to Practice Sustainability in Your Small Business.
Why does that matter? Buyers care about businesses when businesses care about them and the planet. Sustainable priorities are arguably the most important right now as the climate situation intensifies. So, how can women in small businesses do their part to please consumers and make eco-friendly choices?
Read here Ways to Practice Sustainability in Your Small Business:
1. Make Energy-Efficient Switches
Every corner of your new business is an opportunity for an eco-friendly switch. Look up and you’ll see light bulbs. Look down and you’ll see power strips. Look at your desk and you’ll see a computer.
These things consume energy on top of everything else you have plugged in to keep your business a star of the community. Making changes requires easy, actionable steps. You can purchase smart bulbs and power strips and remind your employees to turn everything off at night. Reach out to the power company as well to see if you can allocate your energy usage to renewables like solar.
2. Conserve Water
Depending on your business, you may use a lot of water — especially in the food industry. Conserving water is as easy as asking for help from the city, water company or maintenance workers to:
- Check for leaks.
- Create water conservation plans.
- Install greener appliances, like water heaters and faucets.
- Obtain regular maintenance surveys.
- Find ways to reuse or recycle water.
3. Host Your Website Greener
Suppose you conduct most of your business online. In that case, it might be a priority to consider hosting your site on an eco-conscious server. You may be surprised to learn your website has a carbon footprint, but imagine all the power going into tasks like loading images and storing information.
Find services supporting green initiatives like carbon offsetting or that have Renewable Energy Certificates. Then, you can adapt your website to use less energy by minimizing videos or reducing file sizes on images.
4. Source Sustainable Products
Chances are, you offer either a product or service worthy of its own hashtag. If you focus on what you’re selling, there are plenty of ways to ensure they impact the planet in the least harmful way possible.
Whether you stock food, clothing or artisan goods, consider these of one of the Ways to Practice Sustainability in Your Small Business:
- Sourcing fair trade products.
- Sustainable packaging, such as recyclable or biodegradable options.
- Product makeup, including understanding where the materials come from and if they are sourced sustainably.
- Purchasing locally to minimize transportation and shipping costs.
5. Prioritize Secondhand
Imagine this — you signed the lease to your new stylish space, eventually becoming the talk of the town. It has to look good, but furniture and technology are expensive. Celebrate the extra dollars in your wallet without sacrificing aesthetics by getting necessities secondhand.
Local thrift stores have been around for years, but online thrifting is also an option. Even secondhand tech websites can help you get your office up and running.
6. Clean Green
Sanitizing and disinfecting are almost as much of a priority as a sustainable business. Keep your doors open and sparkling by choosing greener alternatives to cleaning products. The EPA offers helpful guidelines for sustainable cleaning options, like avoiding harmful chemicals and finding products based on renewable resources like vegetables and pine oils.
7. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
This is an old saying for a reason — because it is comprehensive and it works. Start with the big picture by looking at your business from the sidewalk.
Buildings in metropolitan cities are becoming a central focus area for people looking to reduce their carbon footprint. Choosing a suitable space is foundational — literally and figuratively — for crafting an eco-friendly business. There’s no need to get more square footage than necessary or rent an old space that will need more environmental upgrades than the budget can allow.
Fortunately, there are countless other facets of your business that can reduce, reuse and recycle:
- Check out your city’s recycling program and incorporate them.
- Implement composting, especially for food-focused companies.
- Minimize paperwork by doing electronic pay stubs and online bill pay.
8. Offer Remote Work
If it’s within your business’ ability, offer as much remote work as possible — employees can’t waste office supplies if they aren’t there to throw them away. Consider how much it can decrease fossil fuel usage as well. The biggest boon is it eliminates the need to commute, potentially removing 14 million cars from the roads every year.
9. Do Business Locally
Supporting local businesses is one of the most remarkable ways to encourage sustainability. Networking creates strong bonds and nourishing the local economy requires a sense of togetherness. If you want to repaint the walls in your new place, check out local options and see if they have eco-friendly paints. Call up local artists to display their work on your walls. Every inch of space is an opportunity to collaborate and your customers will notice.
10. Incentivize Employees to Participate
With one in three consumers preferring green options, it’s almost certain individuals on your staff will care about the environment. Employees will appreciate the dedication you have to keep your business conscientious. So, why not give incentives? Encourage zero-waste days, using public transportation for their commute or bringing their own lunch. Offer rewards like charitable contributions from the company to save the planet or pizza parties if they’re dedicated.
11. Embrace Plant Life Inside and Out
If you’re lucky enough to have a beautiful exterior and interior, take care of it. Remember to tend to shrubs, flowers, grass or trees at your storefront if you have them. Consider asking local farmers for advice to be sure you use proper caretaking methods. Plant care doesn’t just stop outside — bring some greenery indoors to practice your green thumb.
Advancing in the Green Revolution
For women in small businesses, participating in eco-focused initiatives is the best way to create change. Spreading the word about what you intend to do is one of the most effective ways to influence others and bring people to your doors.
You can make a lot of changes. Even small ones daily can make a big difference in the long run. The world needs all the good people can do, so make it a trend to stay sustainable one of the Ways to Practice Sustainability in Your Small Business
Join the discussion!