7 Strategies to Help Startups Become Eco-Friendly
If you’re starting a new business, you’re probably more concerned with landing your first client or getting a steady stream of revenue than you are with making your business eco-friendly—but this is the best time to start making environmental improvements to your business model. There’s no time when your business will be more flexible than in its early stages, so if you want to establish environmentally conscious momentum, you’ll need to weave it into the fabric of your enterprise’s first steps.
That said, you don’t want your green focus to eclipse your efforts of building a stable organization, so what are some easy strategies you can adapt to make your business a little more eco-friendly?
Strategies for Green Startups
You shouldn’t find it too difficult or distracting to incorporate these strategies into your growing business:
- Consider remote work: Roughly 43 percent of the American workforce is now working at least partially remotely, so it’s not unusual for ambitious entrepreneurs to at least start their enterprises without an office. Allowing your employees to work from home spares them the cost and impact of fuel required to get to the office each day, and reduces your need for an energy-consuming central office.
- Or take public transit: Of course, if you’d prefer to have an office where all your employees can meet face-to-face and keep each other productive, with high morale, you could take public transit instead. Taking a bus will reduce your environmental impact significantly, as will riding a bike (assuming you live close enough).
- Work and buy local: Locally sourcing your products and services is always a good idea, since you’ll cut travel costs dramatically and put more money into your local economy. Getting food from local farmer’s markets always stands out here, but don’t forget to seek professional services, like legal help, from local providers as well.
- Recycle: Recycling is one of the easiest steps you can take to make your office more environmentally friendly. A recycling bin next to the trash can will inspire people to sort their waste, and ultimately recycle things like paper, plastic, and aluminum on a daily basis. Overall, you can reduce your waste production by a third or more. While you’re at it, try to reduce the amount of paper and disposable products you use in the office as much as possible; with so many digital alternative options, this shouldn’t directly interfere with your business.
- Clean green: If you’re cleaning the office (or your home office), make sure to use “green” cleaning products. Some products release harmful chemicals into the environment or otherwise negatively affect your surroundings, so always check the label for an ingredients list, and choose products that have been tested to affect the environment neutrally.
- Use the right light bulbs: Changing the light bulbs is a simple step that anyone can take. . LEDs consume far less electricity than their energy-hogging counterparts and last far longer, so you end up disposing of fewer total bulbs. They also have other advantages, producing less heat than other types of lighting and emitting a cleaner, whiter light that most workers find superior.
- Contribute to a green environment: Finally, do whatever you can to make your local community a little bit greener. You can take a few minutes out of your day to clean up the litter in front of your office or volunteer a few hours of your time per month to plant new trees and keep your parks in good order. If you want the entire office to think green, you can ask your employees to volunteer with you.
Once you’ve established your startup as eco-friendly, you can work on expanding that arm of your business as it begins to grow. You can invest in more intensive fuel- and energy-saving policies, you can donate to environmental causes, and you can even volunteer you and your employees’ time to keep your community clean. Every step you take is important, so don’t feel like it’s all-or-nothing, but the more you do to positively impact the environment and preserve your sustainability, the better for all our futures.