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5 ways to help make your small business more eco-friendly

We as humans are constantly becoming more aware of our impact on the environment. Here are a few steps that your business can take to help protect the future of our planet.

1. Change up your commute
It’s no secret that one of the worst things for the environment are cars. There are multiple ways you can travel to work that will reduce pollution such as using public transport, riding a bike or simply walking. Riding a bicycle or walking to work can promote a healthy lifestyle as well as reduction to your travel expenses. Of course, the latter would be more beneficial for the environment, but not everyone lives close enough to work to be able to ride or walk there. Carpooling can also be a great way to tackle reducing CO2 emissions for employees who live further away.

2. Support other eco-friendly businesses
One of the easiest ways to act on sustainability is to speak and partner with like-minded brands. This way you can easily share ideas and collectively come up with a plan to reduce your environmental impact. You can also use the partnership to promote each other’s businesses as sustainable, thus bringing in more customers.

3. Switch to Cloud Computing
There are a number of benefits to Cloud computing for small businesses, one of which is that using the cloud can benefit the environment. There are numerous cloud-based applications such as Google Apps, Apple iCloud, Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office 365, all of which allow you to create, share and access information from anywhere. This can potentially help your company to reduce printing, postal and travel costs, which all contribute to helping the environment.

4. Go paperless wherever possible
In an increasingly digital world, going paperless is now much easier. There are a few steps you and your business can take to reduce paper waste, such as giving your customers the option to receive paperwork (such as receipts, contracts, etc) email or post. Additionally, you could send all meeting, invoice and other office documents electronically. However, if you do need to use paper, make sure to recycle it properly.

5. Cut down on packaging waste
If your business sells and delivers a product, you’ll most likely send it in packaging. Many larger conglomerates are regularly criticised for the amount of waste included with their parcels. Your business can compete with them by offering customers very little waste, therefore finding appropriate packaging for your products is very important. You should seek eco-friendly and easily recyclable materials to use in your packaging and if possible, using a low-emissions delivery company. Although it may be more expensive in the long run, the results will speak for themselves.

Remember, ‘going green’ is not a gimmick and can involve a lot of effort when done properly. Customers are always the first to recognise authenticity, so make sure you’re making conscious efforts and take genuine steps towards helping the environment. Good luck, your customers and your planet will appreciate the effort! Don’t forget to include all the ways you are reducing your carbon footprint on your website and social media, it may help others follow your example.