10 Ways Small Business Can Help the Environment
Small businesses are a healthy economy’s backbone. As climate change has attracted lots of public attention over the past two decades, the big question now is if a small business can help the environment, as well.
Fortunately, this is a possible mission, and more and more managers have become environmentally conscious.
In order to minimize their negative impact on the environment, small businesses stick to a simple formula: rebuild, reuse, and recycle.
Add to that eco-friendly transportation and humanely and sustainably sourced raw materials, and you’ll see the whole picture.
Many small clothing companies make their clothes of 100% recycled fabrics. These clothes are soft, comfortable, and hypoallergenic.
Many chocolatiers and teamakers have launched financial support programs to help local communities who pick up the cocoa beans, and tea leaves their products are made of.
Working at a slower pace, the locals can focus on picking only the ripest and finest beans and leaves.
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Many small companies allow their employees to work from home, savings lots of money on air conditioning bills and waste collection fees.
In addition, many small online businesses have abandoned the 40 hrs/week target, replacing it with project-based work. The few officials who still need to work from the office spend less time there.
Introducing a home office policy also means fewer employees will drive to work, and the company’s CO2 footprint will decrease.
When allocating their budget for fringes and perks, small companies have switched from paying their officials’ gas bills to paying for public transport passes only.
And when officials have to go on a business trip by car, they are encouraged to share the vehicle with a colleague or two.
Many small businesses provide their employees with tablets that replace up to 75% of the necessary office paper. Still, managers try to purchase stationeries made of recycled or reused materials.
Janitors are provided with non-toxic detergents and cleaning agents that do not pollute the soil when disposed of in the landfill.
Many small companies need more money to afford expensive office chairs and desks. Instead, they try to find vintage furniture that not only looks cool, the old wood it’s made of is pleasant to touch.
Even if you hire a professional woodworker to restore these desks to their previous glory, the total bill will still be lower.
Small companies that ship products are more and more careful about the packaging they use. They try to avoid plastic as much as possible, replacing it with natural materials like paper and cardboard.
Cafes worldwide now offer their espresso varieties in recyclable cups only. These cups later end up in special compost bins and become fertilizers for vegetable gardens and orchards.
Instead of renting office premises into expensive business towers, many small business managers prefer to rent tiny houses from natural persons for an extended period.
The reasonable monthly rent allows them to renovate their small office and make it more energy efficient.
For example, employees working in a house office on a hot summer day can open two opposite windows and cool down the room instead of turning on the air conditioner.
Small eco-friendly businesses around the world try to do business with similarly-minded partners to reduce the global industrial pressure on the environment.