How Startups can Go Green and Save Money

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Running a business is full of choices and decisions. With all of the conversation about climate change, it can be difficult to determine whether your business has an obligation to be environmentally conscious, and how to do so in a cost effective way.

Should Businesses Go Green?

There’s no easy answer to whether businesses should be required to go green. Businesses are run by people and people have to live on this planet. As people, we benefit from a having a planet to live and thrive on. Businesses could not be as successful without the bounty of natural resources our earth provides, so it makes sense to give back.

But businesses also exist to make profit. Sometimes the best option for the environment costs significantly more. That’s why chickens are raised in the U.S., shipped to China for processing and then shipped back. The labor savings more than makes up for the cost of transportation.

But there is no doubt that consumers are becoming more and more environmentally minded.  There can be significant benefits to setting environmentally friendly business practices and advertising those to draw people in. Below are some cost-effective ways for businesses to benefit the earth and save money at the same time.

Downsize

One of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to downsize. This could mean moving your office to a smaller building that uses less energy. That alone can save you money on both rent and on utilities.

If your problem is too little space rather than too much, you may want to analyze whether you need all of the items you have. That super deluxe copy printer may have seemed vital to your business when you bought it, but if you only use it once a month, you might be better off using a printing service. If you do decide to get rid of any large appliances, make sure to use an appliance recycling service that will properly dispose of or find new homes for the parts.

Use Different Materials

In some businesses, use of resources is inevitable. Publishing, for example. No matter how popular ebooks are, publishers are always going to use some amount of paper. But you can examine what type of materials you are using. For example, this printing company uses soy inks that come in reusable cartridges. They also reuse all of their boxes to ship customer orders in. Can you imagine how much waste could be avoided if every company reused the boxes their stock came in?

You can also find paper made from trees that regrow faster than others. Looking at flooring? Consider cork. It is extremely sustainable, and has been the choice of flooring for libraries and churches for ages, since it absorbs sound.

Even small choices can make a huge impact on your carbon footprint. The best part is that when customers see the effort you are making in caring for your environment, they will appreciate that and be more likely to do business with you in the future.

Jeriann Watkins is a blogger and small business owner in Boise, Idaho. She spends her time  making crafts out of scrabble tiles and reused bottles, as well as pinning millions of crafts on Pinterest that she will never get to. Check out her blog at dairairhead.com

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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