Here at Easy Garden Irrigation, we pride ourselves for making our business as eco-friendly as possible. We're not perfect, but there are steps that every business can take to reduce the impact they have on the environment, and we'd love to share with other businesses steps they can follow to reduce wastage (which can also reduce costs - now that's good business sense), and to step towards becoming an environmentally friendly business.
Seems simple right? Many businesses fall short on recycling though and don't have facilities for employees to recycle even if they wanted to. Keep recycling bins separate from waste bins and label clearly for easy use. In our business, we also make the effort to recycle as much packaging as possible. We have a dedicated storage area for all cardboard boxes that come into the business, and when packing an order to be shipped to a customer, our staff have been instructed to make a conscious effort to use packaging from this supply. We only use fresh packaging when we have nothing suitable in our recycled supply.
Power Off Unused Equipment
The norm for many offices that I have worked in was to leave computers running overnight to save that little bit of time in the morning turning the computer on. This does two damaging things to the environment. Firstly it wastes energy keeping the computer running overnight, but also shortens the life of the computer, meaning that it will need to be replaced sooner, and therefore seeing the old computer heading to the rubbish heap. Turn it off, or at least put your machine on standby.
Yes, I know a lot of people reading this will be saying, "yeah right", but it's a lot easier than you think, and using this little trick you can actually make your business more efficient (hat tip to my Dad for this advice). On most modern computers, you will have an option to save as PDF when printing. Save the document to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, and whenever a document comes into your business, scan it and save it to cloud storage, then put the document in the recycling. This still allows you to keep all your files in one place and access them from anywhere, as well as sharing with colleagues when required. Some other tips for reducing paper is communicating as much as possible via email, and only using fax cover letters when absolutely necessary.
For the times when we do have to print (customer invoices and packing slips), we use a double sided printer. This has reduced our paper usage by almost a quarter. We also use a low ink setting on our printer to ensure we only use as much as needed to communicate the message. The money we have saved doing this means we can purchase recycled paper, and re-manufactured toner cartridges.
Cut Down on Heating and Cooling
Quit wasting energy (and money) on heating and cooling by learning to be less wasteful and more energy-efficient. Set the thermostat higher or lower depending on business hours, and don’t spend money on heating or cooling unused rooms. If you get a little chilly, pop a jumper on. If you get too hot, get an ice-lolly.
Change Your Lighting
Our friends over at Dyfed Electrical kitted out our offices and warehouse with LED lights. We have already seen our energy consumption drop by 30%, meaning long term savings for the business. This was quite an investment, but the ROI will be seen within a year, and after that we will be laughing all the way to the bank. Remember, little changes do add up, and the sooner you make the change, the sooner you will see the benefits.
The advice above is quite easy to implement for most businesses, and the benefits for your business can be realised fairly quickly, but it can take a lot of work to keep it up and to keep everybody on board. Regular communication with staff to encourage them to be green, and asking them for suggestions will get everyone involved and foster commitment. Making a point to be environmentally friendly will show commitment to employees, and maybe even make them think harder when away from work to recycle and save energy.
We hope that you take this advice on-board, and would love to hear any suggestions that you have as well. Just leave us a comment below to be heard.