Do you want to become moreenvironmentally minded? Are you worried about whether you can afford to makechanges in the current economic climate?
Going green doesn’t have tomean shelling out big bucks for major renovations around the shop. In fact,switching to environmentally friendly products can actually save you money.Here are a few places to start.
1. Buy reusable mugs andglasses instead of paper cups. The fact that disposable cups take up more thantheir fair share of our nation’s landfills isn’t the only reason to considerbuying a couple sets of glasses and mugs instead. You can buy a set of coffeemugs in the price range of $20, whereas a pack of 50 disposable insulated cupswill be in the $10 range. Eliminating disposable cups and plates can add up tobig savings over time. Just be sure to spring for a dish rack, soap andsponges, and remind employees to clean up after themselves.
2. Switch to compactfluorescent lights. CFLs use up to 75% less energy and can last up to eightyears. While they are more expensive than regular bulbs, CFLs clearly save youmoney in the long run. They are also available in a variety of shapes andsizes, so you can even green up your favorite desk lamp.
3. Turn off computers.According to the U.S. Department of Energy,http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/consumer/your_home/appliances/index.cfm/mytopic=10070,computer monitors should be shut off if employees are away from their computersfor more than 20 minutes, and shut down completely for more than two hours ofplanned inactivity. This will save you money in two ways: lower energy costsand less wear and tear on computers, which eventually leads to costly repairsand new purchases.
4. Buy Energy Star products.Speaking of buying new products, make sure to replace old and broken equipmentwith energy efficient models. Look for the Energy Star label on products suchas new printers and refrigerators:http://www.energy.gov/energyefficiency/energystar.htm. While these won’t likelybe the cheapest models you can find, they will save you money through energysavings and longer product life spans.
5. Ask traveling employeesto carpool. Consider starting an incentives program to encourage employees tocoordinate their commutes, thus helping the environment while they can save ontravel expenses.
There are more ways you cansave money by going green that are specific to your business. Consider aconsultation with an Energy Auditor, who will show you more ways to save moneyand energy around the office, and ask associates for any cost-cutting greeningtips.
Courtesy of the NationalFederation of Independent Businesses. For more information on this topic, visitwww.nfib.com.