Going green isn’t just a trend. Sure, switching to more sustainable business practices helps the environment, but it can also help your business. Making the switch can save you money on your bills and other expenses, and it’s also important to consumers.
In fact, 84% of consumers in a recent poll said they look for products that are ethical, if possible, and 93% will have a better image of a company that supports environmental and other ethical causes.
Going green isn’t just a responsible thing to do. It makes good business sense, too. So, how do you do it? Here are six ways you can work on your green efforts:
1. Determine How Green (or Ungreen) You Are
To know what you need to change, you need to know your green strengths and weaknesses.
An energy audit will show you what changes and repairs to make to create a space that’s more energy efficient. Many states will even do an audit for free. A quick Internet search for ‘free energy audit’ and the name of your state will get you started. Energy Star from the EPA also offers tools that can help you assess your energy and water use.
2. Use Greener Paper or Less Paper
You don’t have to change the actual color of the paper you use, of course, but you could certainly find something greener. Look for paper made from recycled material. Paper made from recycled pre-consumer waste and post-consumer waste are both great, but post-consumer does the most good for the environment. So, look for paper with as high a percentage of recycled content as possible, especially post-consumer waste.
An even greener option than post-consumer recycled paper is no paper. As often as possible, use digital instead of paper for office communications, employee manuals and other materials. Going digital will not only save you money on paper purchases, but your documents will be easier to distribute and edit.
3. Recycle More Than Just Paper
You’d be surprised what you can recycle and what recycled products you can find with a little research and creativity. There are companies that recycle bulk bags, electronics, construction waste, ink and toner cartridges and much more.
When shopping for items such as furniture and appliances, considering pre-owned goods provides another great option for saving money and helping the environment.
4. Power Down and Unplug
Instead of using a screensaver, set your computer screen to turn off when not used for a period of time. When employees leave for the night, have them shut down and unplug their computers and other devices. Turning off devices saves energy, but they still draw power if they remain plugged into the wall — power that goes completely to waste.
It may be helpful to institute a policy that encourages these energy-saving actions. They’ll help you go green and cut your company’s spending on bills, so why not give them a shot?
5. Add Efficient Lighting
Almost 40% of energy used at American businesses goes toward electric lighting. Cutting down on this expense can significantly impact your bottom line and the planet.
Whenever possible, use natural light instead of artificial. Open windows and blinds to let in sunlight. Painting walls with light colors and glossy finishes will make this natural light more effective.
Additionally, consider enacting a no-waste policy when it comes to lighting. Turn off lights when they’re not in use or install a motion sensor that will shut them off automatically.
When you do need to use artificial light, use compact-fluorescent (CFL) and LED light bulbs. They cost more up front, but over time, they will save you money since they use less energy.
6. Try Green Transportation
Employees have plenty of options when it comes to greener travel. Biking, walking and taking public transportation will all help reduce the environmental impact of your employees’ commutes. Consider setting up a company carpool system, and offering telecommuting options can eliminate the impact of travel all together.
Encourage these alternative modes of transportation by implementing a rewards program for employees who use green transportation or make it into a fun event by starting a “green transportation day.”
You can also try to have as many virtual meetings as possible through phone or online video chats to eliminate the need for extra travel during the workday or business trips. If travel for a meeting or trip is necessary, encourage using more environmentally-friendly transportation.
7. Make Some Upgrades
Although many upgrades require more money up front, they also pay off in the long run and are increasingly better for the environment. Many of these upgrades are also eligible for tax benefits. If you consider that air leaks in air ducts can raise usage costs by over 50% and that energy savings on a new fridge pay it off in three years, upgrades are definitely something to think about at the office.
It Doesn’t Take Much to Make an Impact
Businesses have plenty of choices when it comes to going green. The more you do, the greater impact you’ll have, but even doing just one thing on this list will improve your sustainability and help the planet.
When many businesses and people start making small changes, it adds to a big change — plus, it’ll save you a little change, too.
Ways Green Preppers Are Trying to Protect their Privacy
Environmental activists are not given the admiration that they deserve. A recent poll by Gallup found that a whopping 32% of Americans still doubt the existence of global warming. The government’s attitude is even worse.
Many global warming activists and green preppers have raised the alarm bell on climate change over the past few years. Government officials have taken notice and begun tracking their activity online. Even former National Guard officers have admitted that green preppers and climate activists are being targeted for terrorist watchlists.
Of course, the extent of their surveillance depends on the context of activism. People that make benign claims about climate change are unlikely to end up on a watchlist, although it is possible if they make allusions to their disdain of the government. However, even the most pacifistic and well intentioned environmental activists may unwittingly trigger some algorithm and be on the wrong side of a criminal investigation.
How could something like this happen? Here are some possibilities:
- They could share a post on social media from a climate extremist group or another individual on the climate watchlist.
- They could overly politicize their social media content, such as being highly critical of the president.
- They could use figures of speech that may be misinterpreted as threats.
- They might praise the goals of a climate change extremist organization that as previously resorted to violence, even if they don’t condone the actual means.
Preppers and environmental activists must do everything in their power to protect their privacy. Failing to do so could cost them their reputation, future career opportunities or even their freedom. Here are some ways that they are contacting themselves.
Living Off the Grid and Only Venturing to Civilization for Online Use
The more digital footprints you leave behind, the greater attention you draw. People that hold controversial views on environmentalism or doomsday prepping must minimize their digital paper trail.
Living off the grid is probably the best way to protect your privacy. You can make occasional trips to town to use the Wi-Fi and stock up on supplies.
Know the Surveillance Policies of Public Wi-Fi Providers
Using Wi-Fi away from your home can be a good way to protect your privacy.However, choosing the right public Wi-Fi providers is going to be very important.
Keep in mind that some corporate coffee shops such a Starbucks can store tapes for up to 60 days. Mom and pop businesses don’t have the technology nor the interest to store them that long. They generally store tips for only 24 hours and delete them afterwards. This gives you a good window of opportunity to post your thoughts on climate change without being detected.
Always use a VPN with a No Logging Policy
Using a VPN is one of the best ways to protect your online privacy. However, some of these providers do a much better job than others. What is a VPN and what should you look for when choosing one? Here are some things to look for when making a selection:
- Make sure they are based in a country that has strict laws on protecting user privacy. VPNs that are based out of Switzerland, Panama for the British Virgin Islands are always good bets.
- Look for VPN that has a strict no logging policy. Some VPNs will actually track the websites that you visit, which almost entirely defeats the purpose. Most obviously much better than this, but many also track Your connections and logging data. You want to use a VPN that doesn’t keep any logs at all.
- Try to choose a VPN that has an Internet kill switch. This means that all content will stop serving if your VPN connection drops, which prevents your personal data from leaking out of the VPN tunnel.
You will be much safer if you use a high-quality VPN consistently, especially if you have controversial views on climate related issues or doomsday prepping.
How Going Green Can Save Your Business Thousands
Running a company isn’t easy. From reporting wages in an efficient way to meeting deadlines and targets, there’s always something to think about – with green business ideas giving entrepreneurs something extra to ponder. While environmental issues may not be at the forefront of your mind right now, it could save your business thousands, so let’s delve deeper into this issue.
Small waste adds up over time
A computer left on overnight might not seem like the end of the world, right? Sure, it’s a rather minor issue compared to losing a client or being refused a loan – but small waste adds up over time. Conserving energy is an effective money saver, so to hold onto that hard-earned cash, try to:
- Turn all electrical gadgets off at the socket rather than leaving them on standby as the latter can crank up your energy bill without you even realizing.
- Switch all lights off when you exit a room and try switching to halogen incandescent light bulbs, compact fluorescent lamps or light emitting diodes as these can use up to 80 per cent less energy than traditional incandescent and are therefore more efficient.
- Replace outdated appliances with their greener counterparts. Energy Star appliances have labels which help you to understand their energy requirements over time.
- Draught-proof your premises as sealing up leaks could slash your energy bills by 30 per cent.
Going electronic has significant benefits
If you don’t want to be buried under a mountain of paperwork, why not opt for digital documents instead of printing everything out? Not only will this save a lot of money on paper and ink but it will also conserve energy and help protect the planet. You may even be entitled to one of the many tax breaks and grants issued to organizations committed to achieving their environmental goals. This is particularly good news for start-ups with limited funds as the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) is keen to support companies opening up their company in a green manner.
Of course, if you’re used to handing out brochures and leaflets at every company meeting or printing out newsletters whenever you get the chance, going electronic may be a challenge – but here are some things you can try:
- Using PowerPoint presentations not printouts
- Communicating via instant messenger apps or email
- Using financial software to manage your books
- Downloading accounting software to keep track of figures
- Arranging digital feedback and review forms
- Making the most of Google Docs
Going green can help you to make money too
Going green and environmental stability is big news at the moment with many companies doing their bit for the environment. While implementing eco-friendly strategies will certainly save you money, reducing your carbon footprint could also make you a few bucks too. How? Well, consumers care about what brands are doing more than ever before, with many deliberately siding with those who are implementing green policies. Essentially, doing your bit for the environment is a PR dream as it allows you to talk about what everyone wants to hear.
Going green can certainly save your money but it should also improve your reputation too and give you a platform to promote your business.