Tuesday, January 29, 2013

5 Ways to Make Your Home Business More Sustainable

Did you know Canada..  Working from home automatically can make a business more environmentally-friendly. You save the carbon emissions and fuel that would have been used up during the daily commute to and from the office. According to a recent study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, online retail operations use 30% less energy on average than traditional brick and mortar operations. Yet there are still ways to further reduce your environmental impact when working from home. Running a green friendly business not only is good for the environment, but for your company bank account. Conserving resources can be a great way to save money.

1. Arrange for an Energy Audit
Many utility companies will be happy to stop by your home office for a consultation or energy audit. These are provided at little to no cost, and can help you improve your energy usage. Simply turning off computers at the end of the workday can drastically reduce energy use, as can properly insulating the building.

2. Eliminate Paper Waste
With so many forms of electronic communication these days, there's really no need to go through paper during the workday. Encourage email communications with your clients and suppliers, and back up important files digitally or using cloud storage rather than printing out emails. If you must send a fax, avoid the cover sheet and use a fax-modem to save paper.

3. Detox the Office
Do you use harsh chemicals to clean your office? Consider replacing these with gentler solutions. Common office suppliers like copier toner and used batteries can also be filled with toxins. You can find safe, eco-friendly alternatives to these that will be friendlier to the environment. Be sure to dispose of any existing toxins properly.

4. Use Green Suppliers
Just as you would carefully shop around to find the best website builder and products to create your home business, you should take some time to find out more about your suppliers. If you already have a working relationship with suppliers, tell them that you're interested in using sustainable products. It's helpful to set specific goals when sourcing office supplies, committing to only purchasing recycled or used products. When you create a website for your business, you can proudly announce this dedication to help define your company's stance on using sustainable products. This will keep you mindful when purchasing supplies.

5. Connect with Local Businesses
In addition to doing business with green-friendly suppliers, it's also a good idea to buy local. You can reduce the time and energy it takes for your supplies to reach you by using local businesses. This also helps foster stronger community connections, and can help you inspire others to go green.
Small steps like these can make a world of difference in energy use and sustainability. Every little step helps make an impact in the world around you. 

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