10 Easy Steps to Transform your Business ‘Green’

Posted on 08. Apr, 2010 by in Misc. Articles, VirtualConnections Newsletter

Everywhere you turn, you hear the words “going green”. As a small business owner you probably wonder what you can do to help the environment. Can I really make a difference? Well you can, and here are a few steps that you can start implementing to create a positive impact on the environment. Going green does not have to be hard, it can be the easiest thing you do.

  1. Recycle. Permanently place a recycling bin in arm’s length from your mail bin so you can quickly get rid of that junk mail fast. To take it one step further, you can get off those junk mail lists by registering with Direct Marketing Associates at dmachoice.org. You will see a significant reduction in mail in about 3 months.
  2. Scanning. Another way to get rid of unwanted paper, scan. Scanning saves valuable file space especially when working out of your home office where space is at a premium.
  3. Pay bills online. Pay your bills online or set up automatic bill paying from your bank account. No envelopes – no postage – and not to mention no late fees if you are on an automatic payment plan. Most banks offer this service free so check with your bank.
  4. Office Printer and Copier. Configure your printer or copier to print on both sides of the paper. Check your printer’s owner manual to see if you can print on the opposite side of paper that has already been printed as you can damage the printer head on some printers. If you are in the market for a new printer, look for one that allows you to print double-sided. Remember to recycle your used printer cartridges. Major office supply retailers have recycling bins set up in their stores or even offer you money for bringing in your used ink cartridges.
  5. Computer. If you will be away from your computer for more than 20 minutes, switch your screen preferences to go to ‘sleep mode’ if inactive for 20 minutes. The settings are in your control panel under screen saver, power management.
  6. Lights. Switch to energy star rated CFL bulbs, they use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer. If you are going to be out of the office for a long period of time, don’t forget to turn off the lights.
  7. Faxing. Switch over to either eFax or another online fax service. You receive your faxes via email, another benefit when you are on the road and not accessible to your fax machine. For sending out faxes, these companies offer software which allows you to fax directly from your computer. There are a number of companies who offer this service at a very nominal monthly fee. Another advantage, you will not hear your fax machine ring in the middle of the night.
  8. Power Strips. Make sure all your equipment is plugged into surge protection power strips. At the end of the day, shut down the power strip.
  9. Green Vendors. Work with green vendors. Many printers have switched to environmentally friendly inks and paper.
  10. Video Conferencing. Video web conferencing is gaining popularity for small business owners. It allows you to connect with the key decision makers even if they are located across the country or in the next town. You can provide training, offer valuable customer support and best of all, you will cut expensive travel costs as well as gain valuable time and less stress with not having to fight highway traffic.

Start off with a couple of these suggestions gradually implementing all over time. Remember to have fun and feel good about doing your part.

If you have implemented some “green” in your company, we would love for you to share with us.

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