Global warming is upon us whether we like it or not, and some might think that the role of changing habits should be down to corporate businesses with more resources and more to lose. However, the responsibility of the environment and how we treat the earth is everyone’s, whether you’re a small corner shop or running a large farm off state. Small changes might not seem like they’ll have an impactful effect on global warming, and if you’re the only one making changes then you’re right. That’s why the state of the environment is equal responsibility, and if everyone makes even the smallest of changes, it can greatly slow down the impending gloom that is global warming.
Smaller business owners might not feel like their contributions are making any difference when in fact, every step towards saving the planet makes a difference. Not only is becoming environmentally friendly as a business good for the planet, but it can also boost your reputation and even your sales figures. Think about it this way:
The two supermarkets you use regularly are very similar on price, but one has introduced a greener way of running things, including banning plastic bags and also cutting back on energy consumption. You’re more likely to use the greener supermarket, right?
That’s why, even if you don’t feel like your business is making an impact on the earth, that you should make conscientious changes to reduce the effects of global warming on our planet. Not sure how you can make a difference? Take a look at these effective go green ideas and put them into practice wherever possible so that you and your business can help save planet earth.
Install rainwater tanks
A common mistake that people make is thinking that water is endless. After all, the majority of the earth is covered in it! However, the amount of energy used to pump water into your business is astounding, and water tanks are a fantastic way of preserving rainwater for non-drinking purposes. Imagine the amount of money you could save by reusing rainwater, so not only will you be dramatically helping the environment, but you’ll also be saving a pretty penny or two as well! Water tanks, in general, also don’t need much maintenance as they are built to withstand incredible amounts of weight, so you won’t need to worry about it taking up time that could be spent running your business more efficiently.
Invest in solar panels
Solar panels are a wonderful way of contributing towards saving the planet, and that’s simply because they generate their own energy using the most natural source there is – the sun! The only downside of solar panels is the cost. Having them installed can be a large investment, but rest assured they’re totally worth the money. Here are some consumer comments from all over the world:
Solar panels paid for themselves within a year with the amount of money that was saved on electricity bills.
In the summer, the electricity bill was next to nothing because of the amount of energy that was generated from them.
They require little to no maintenance. In fact, one professional check over once every year or so is all they require. More often than not, the company that installed your solar panels will offer this service free of charge.
As you can see, solar panels are more than worth the investment and not just for your pocket either! Think of the amount of energy you could save as a business and also how future generations will benefit from the changes you’ve made.
When you’re running a business there are hundreds if not thousands of documents falling through your letterbox each month, and as you know this is very harmful to the environment. Did you know that per tree (on average) you get between 10,000 and 20,000 sheets from it? Think of how many trees that you, as a business, are cutting down each year!
Luckily, pretty much every supplier you come across now has the option to go paperless, meaning that instead, you’ll receive your documents via email. Sure, your email account will be flooded and will need to be manned, but think of how many trees you’ll be saving by making this change alone. Not only that, having a document in digital form is less likely to become lost than one that’s in paper form. Go paperless!
Carpool with staff members
Travelling to work can be a pain. Between the rush hour and trying to find a parking space, it does sometimes make you wonder whether having a car is even worth the hassle. If you’ve got a team of say, 10 people, and they all travel in by car, you can only imagine the amount of fuel (and added cars on the road) that’s being unnecessarily consumed. Bring in a carpooling scheme at work wherever possible and reward staff members that take part. You’ll soon find that as a team you’re contributing towards saving our planet and saving stress during rush hour, not to mention the money that will be saved too!
Ban carrier bags
Carrier bags are convenient. They help lug our groceries, our dollar store haul, and our shopping spree findings back home. However, plastic carrier bags are very harmful to the planet due to how long they take to decompose. Not only that, did you know that around eight million metric tonnes of plastic end up in the ocean? Imagine all of the animals that are suffering because of this! Most stores have already done this, and you should consider it too! Ban plastic carrier bags and offer your customers the chance to purchase a reusable (and replaceable) bag for life.
Use greener cleaning products
It’s crazy to think that a product that can help rid our homes and businesses of germs can pollute the earth so much. Cleaning products are very harmful to our environment and wherever possible, should be replaced with greener cleaning products. Not only will you be helping the environment, but you’ll also find that the risk of skin irritation dramatically reduces, as well as harmful fumes that you could potentially inhale.
Source organic ingredients
If you’re running an establishment that serves food, you can make a difference here too. Did you know that non-organic fruit and vegetables will have been sprayed with pesticides and insecticides to keep them looking their best? While there is some logic in there somewhere, the fumes from these chemicals (much like cleaning products) are eating away at our ozone faster than we can do anything about. Switching to organic ingredients will not only be supporting a great cause, but you’ll find that the products are actually tastier and in the long run, more attractive too.
Plant some trees
We mentioned briefly about the number of trees that are being cut down, so why not do something about it? Deforestation is happening at an alarming rate, so rather than contributing to it, battle it! Plant trees and shrubs! Small wildlife will begin to thrive again as well as creating cleaner air for us to breathe. Plus, who doesn’t love the sight of a pretty garden or yard?
Replace appliances for more energy efficient ones, and recycle your old ones
Appliances such as a washing machine or dishwasher makes life and business so much easier. However, appliances that aren’t as up to date will eat up energy, meaning that you’re not being as environmentally friendly as you can. Replacing your appliances for more energy efficient ones will help the planet, help your wallet, and also perform better than your older ones.
Remember to donate or recycle your old appliances to save them from going to landfill. Schools, charities, and shelters for the homeless will gladly reuse them and appreciate them.
Use incentives for your customers
Your customers might not be into the idea of going green as much as you are, but you can use incentives to try and get them to change their mind. For example, offering customers who bring their own bags or their own reusable mug for coffee a considerable discount will likely give them a boost to ditch their bad habits and help save the planet.
Sponsor a charity
It’s not just humans that are affected by global warming, and you may have heard in the news about species dying out due to our careless habits. Sponsoring a charity that’s working to save species from extinction will also help provide for the planet. Not only that, sponsoring a charity will give your reputation as a business a huge boost.
Have ‘green’ event days
Finally, scheduling event days for you and your team to do something worthwhile for the planet will help encourage others to do so too. You could spend the day litter picking, give out bags for life, or even spend the day clearing your local river or stream of its rubbish.
Remember every step you take towards helping the planet will make a difference and together, we can slow down the process and effects of global warming!