co Going Green, Small Business Tips That Will Save You Money and Time |

Going green isn’t just a fancy media word. It’s something we all need to consider. Small businesses will benefiit quickly from green efforts. It’s also a great point to feature on your website, blogs, and at your brick-and mortor locations. People “get” that it’s time to go green–and whether that means conserving your lights, carpooling, offering tele-commuting to your employees, or conserving on energy and office products–it all hellps.

Consider creating a paperless office. I recently visited someone who works from home and runs a paperless office. He has made a concerted effort to avoid excess printing, and does 99% of his work online. It was honestly the cleanest office I’d ever been in. And he seemed less stressed. He shared that it took some time getting used to, but he even encouraged others to invoice him via computer, and to make sure he backed his files, and although there are times he can’t avoid printing, he does so with care and uses recylcled office paper products. I was impressed.

Another area you can focus on is energy conservation. Advances in “power management” allows your computer to hibernate or power downs all the peripherals except what power it needs to maintain RAM (random access memory). Printers now have a feature that allows them to go into ”rest” or hibernation so that it conserves power when inactive. Power management can do a lot for your business. It can prolong battery life, reduce cooling requirements (which in an office with many computers/electronic equipment, your a/c costs can drop), reduce operating costs, and lower your overall power consumption.

The best way to help your company go green is to brainstorm. People don’t like changes mandated to them. So ask your co-workers or employers what ways they suggest to help conserve energy and “go green.” Start with 2-3 changes at a time. It’s easy to go gung-ho and then lose your momentum, so start with ways you can manage. Let someone champion the area they suggested.

Here are a few office green tips:

Announce a brown bag lunch day and encourage all employees to pack.
If your company uses plastic bags, consider investing in recyclable bags. Most customers will be glad to pay a one-time fee to convert.
Switch to safer/organic office cleaning products.
Encourage less printing. Have a monthly contest and see if this month’s total can be less than less month.
Consider tele-commuting one day a week. Working from home can actually be more productive for many jobs.
Rally your colleagues into action. None of us like being out on the end of the diving board alone, so encourage others to go green as well.
Go online and investigate how others have saved money in similar fields. Leave a comment on their blog or website and ask them about what worked best.

Once you’ve established a few “green” initiatives, go ahead and promote it. People care about this. Put it on your website, write a blog about your efforts–your journey–what worked, what didn’t.
Mention it on Twitter, and even chat about a great tip others could use. Going green is something others respect, and in our economy, the savings will often come right back to you.