Going green is one of the best things you can do for your small business. Not only does it give people a better impression of you when they come to use your services, it doesn’t always have to cost your company a lot of money to become more energy efficient in some ways. You don’t have to install solar panels to be green, fortunately, and here are some simple and easy ways to hop on the environmental protectors’ train.

Skip the bottles, and if you can’t, recycle them. Only about 13{7e4ee7cd997d36f6dec43befd6b19c37edf0959bbf61766e988f901dd91e96d7} of plastic water bottles are recycled each year, and that’s with the massive kick towards renewable resources. If you can, go with a water delivery service that just uses large, reusable bottles or, even better, buy a filter for the sink or to put in the fridge so there’s always cool, fresh water available for you and your employees. Investing in reusable cups in the beginning may be a little more expensive than just buying the regular plastic ones you throw away, but in the long run it will save you money – and the environment. When you’re considering things like conferences, use a few ice cold pitchers and some cups before using the plastic water bottles.

Get rid of printing and go paperless. There are a few things still where paper is required, but for the most part, all communication and correspondence can be done over e-mail or similar programs and services. There are even programs like Cloud that allow you to edit documents together in real time to avoid shifting the same paper around an office over and over again. Paper is no more permanent than electronic documents, so making that shift today – even just the beginnings of that shift – helps.

Encourage your employees to carpool. Some employees live fairly close together and can commute together instead of using separate cars to get somewhere; plus, there’s the added advantage to them of being able to use the carpool lane. If you wish to encourage this, you can always offer a small reward for the people who do – maybe a special parking spot, for example. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, even.

Turn down the lights. Some of the newer bulbs are a little expensive, but the length of time they last compared to the old type of bulb isn’t really even a comparison. So even if the price is a little high, you’ll be saving money just by switching over time – plus the bulbs are brighter, save energy on a daily basis, and give off less heat. Alternatively, you can just make sure the lights are all off at night, and you can look into installing a motion activated system that detects when people aren’t in the room and shuts the lights off.

Don’t be afraid of going green – embracing it can help you portray an image to your customer that’s not only favorable, but truthful and trust-building as well.

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