So many businesses are throwing around the words “Eco-friendly”, “sustainability”, and “Going Green”, nowadays that it may seem like nonsense. Making your business environmentally friendly can be beneficial to more than just the planet however. There are so many things one can do to lower their impact on the environment while saving themselves a little extra “green” in the process. Changing your ways does not have to be a complete overhaul of how your company operates, instead, little things here and there can make an enormous difference.
Auto repair businesses can be a messy job with many harmful chemicals. Eco-friendly auto shops are inspiring many people to change the way they treat their cars. An example of a green auto business is the Green Garage, located in Boulder, Colorado. They use green alternatives to tune cars, which in turn help cars run longer, save customers money, and give the environment a break!
Here are some small changes the auto repair businesses can consider:
- Recycling products – Motor oil never actually runs out, it just gets dirty! Send your dirty oil to a Certified Collection Center or research how your business can clean it yourself. You can also recycle tires, hoses and windshield wipers.
- Minimize waste - The first thing that comes to your mind when you hear waste may not be cleaning, but this can dramatically reduce it! Instead of using paper towels to clean up spills, try using shop rags and wash them each night.
- Buy in bulk – Not only does buying a lot of one thing save you money, but it can also reduce the amount of packaging needed to store products such as oil and antifreeze.
Food and Beverage companies have a lot of options to consider to reduce their environmental impact. This industry has many easy routes when choosing food, cleaning, and serving products, but with a little extra work, great things can happen. The keyword for this industry is reusable.
- For restaurants, disposable napkins and utensils are easy because you can just throw them out. The downside is they can end up in landfills. For a little extra starting cost, try cloth napkins and silver wear. After each use, simply wash and reuse. You will not have to continuously purchase the flimsy alternatives and it makes you look pretty fancy too!
- For beverage companies who serve drinks in disposable cups, encourage your customers to bring in their own reusable containers. This can be done by offering a discount on their purchase if they provide their own cup. You will save money on all the cups you did not have to buy and once again, less waste!
- Compost is a great way to reduce waste. You can even grow your own foods with the nutrient rich soil you have created!
Small Office Businesses/Retail establishments can take lots of action steps to minimize their carbon footprint as well. It is a lot easier than you might think to make a difference!
- Start with the easy stuff, like shutting down and unplugging electronics each night. Even when electronics are shut off, they still use energy when they are plugged in.
- Another simple change could be turning off overhead lights during sunny days. If it’s a beautiful day, let the outside in! Open doors and windows to let light and fresh air flood the building. This way you do not have to waste energy by using your air conditioning and lighting. It makes the place feel bright and fresh in the process!
- Employees could try using reusable containers for their meals to cut back on waste. Not only is it less expensive for the employee to bring their own lunch, the company can save on waste costs as well.
- Paper waste is a large problem for retail due to printing receipts each transaction. If you have the opportunity, try a paperless system and email receipts to customers instead! Encourage customers to provide their own reusable bags as well. This can cut costs of purchasing plastic bags that could potentially end up in a landfill. Yuck!
Customers will love you for what you are doing! Going green will help your company gain more business because people will notice that you are trying to make a difference. The little things count!
Being green can save you green too. When you are more efficient, you can save on your operation costs. Going green can save more money than you think!
Going green has so many benefits for a company! Being more environmentally conscious and conserving resources makes this world a healthier place to live. We can all do our part!
Parpal, Monica. "Restaurant Equipment and Supplies." Why Going Green Is Good for Business. Food Service Warehouse, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2013.
"Eco-Responsible." Green Garage Green Auto Service Boulder Colorado. Green Garage, n.d. Web. 04 Apr. 2013.
Witkin, Jim. "CONVERSATIONS; Convincing Even the Skeptics to Go Green." The New York Times. The New York Times, 03 Feb. 2011. Web. 04 Apr. 2013.
Alsever, Jennifer. "Eco-friendly Tune-ups Keep You Driving Green." Msnbc.com. NBC News, 29