Green Goes the Distance

With 50 the new 30 and green the new black, business owners are realizing that greening the workplace is simply “eco-logical.” Green has gone mainstream: you can purchase sustainable lumber at Home Depot, and organic cleaning products at Costco.

Here are seven tips to help you raise the eco flag in your business:

  • Both sides now. Make double-sided copies, which cuts paper consumption in half.
  • Don’t have a breakdown. Of your boxes, that is. Instead of breaking boxes down, reuse them to send packages back out.
  • Prepare for stormy weather. Weatherproof your marketing materials to make them last for seasons to come. Use heavy duty wire stakes to anchor your signage, reinforce your recyclable vinyl banners with wind slits, and use bungee cordsto keep those beautiful messages from going up, up and away on a turbulent day!

    Which would you trust during a summer storm?

  • Go back to school. Donate outdated computers and supplies to a school or nonprofit. It’s a mutual win: they receive needed equipment, you help the environment — and you may receive tax benefits as well.
  • Shop smart: Buy refillable ink cartridges and recycled toner, which helps ease the landfill burden, and recycled, chlorine-free paper. Consider trying some of the newer papers made from hemp, bamboo and organic cotton.
  • Build virtual filing cabinets. With networked offices, there’s rarely a reason to distribute the paper memos of yesteryear. Encourage e-mailing and organized digital filing.
  • Power down. At the end of the day, on weekends, and especially if someone isgoing to be out of town, turn off computers and other equipment, such as printers, copiers, and fax machines. You can save as much as 50 percent in energy use.

The more your business goes green, the more green you’re likely to see in your bottom line.