Now May be the Best Time for Becoming Eco-Friendly

It may be easier and more profitable than you think.

In this highly competitive time with the economy being what it is – i.e. not so great – one does not immediately think of ways to make their business more eco-friendly.  I mean, that’s something we do in more bullish times, right?  It costs money to be “green,” and most don’t have the extra cash to do that right now.  You may be too busy just trying to keep your head above water.  So maybe, when things get better, you’ll think about how to recycle your wastepaper.

Well, this may be EXACTLY the right time to green your business up a little bit.  You see, it doesn’t always cost money to go green; it often saves money to do so.  In fact, that may be the major driver to greening the economy in the 21st Century.  So what do you have to do to make this work for you?  Jennifer Kaplan, author of Greening Your Small Business and founder of Greenhance, has several easy ideas to get you started.

Where to Begin

First, use less.  OK, this sounds too obvious but there are things that you might not think of that are staring you right in the face.  For example, Kaplan points out one way to cut your in-house printing bill in half.  Most printers today are capable of double-sided printing and at the cost of printer cartridges, that can be a significant savings.  And just turning off your computers at night can save a lot of money.  How many people in your office leave their computer on when they leave because they want to “jump right in” the first thing in the morning?  In the time it takes them to get their morning coffee, their computer will be nice and warm for them.

Kaplan also recommends the use of “cloud computing.”  If you are not familiar with this, there are now a number of web-based services that will store and transfer your data with great ease and high levels of security.  You can also digitally store your records, reducing the need for physical space for all those file cabinets.  And it will likely be easier to retrieve when you need them.

Second, buy local.  Now, why does this save you anything?  Well, first, while some things may seem cheaper online, don’t forget the shipping and handling costs.  These can make a product much more expensive than buying it from your local vendor.  In addition, developing those local relationships may ultimately get you even greater discounts on products and services.  Finally, this bolsters the local economy making everything else a little cheaper.

Third, reduce business travel. Let’s face it, traveling costs money; money you may not have to spend.  Yes, there is nothing quite like meeting with your clients face-to-face, but do you need to meet with them as much as you have been?  With video online chatting and conferencing services, which are getting better all the time, you can still have that direct interaction for a fraction of the cost.  And, of course, this greatly reduces your “carbon footprint,” that mystical impact on the environment.  Ultimately, this will reduce all our costs as our impact to the environment is lessened.

Finally, just say “no” when considering any purchase for your business.  Yes, it would be great to have the big screen TV in your front lobby, but do you really need it?  And the latest and greatest IT innovation may save you money in the long run and may increase your productivity – or it may not.  Make sure before you buy.

In summary, going “green” may not just be an option for your business, it may be the best thing you can do for it!  (And it will make us all profit in the long run.)

For more information on greening your business go to