If you want to take a big step in the right direction by making your small business more eco-friendly, you probably have a lot of questions about how to begin the process. With small businesses, money is always a concern. You don’t have a large corporate wallet, and you can’t afford to make costly mistakes while you’re still trying keep the roof up.
You might be surprised by what a lot of the facts and figures show. Breaking it down piece by piece shows what’s involved in each step, and proves that it just might be easier and more affordable than you had previously suspected.
Paper production is harmful for the environment. Most paper doesn’t get recycled, and even if it does, it requires energy to process. Remove as much paper as you can from the office. By sending and storing digital documents, you’ll find that you don’t have a significant need for paper. When it’s unavoidable, choose paper from a recycled source and implement a double-sided printing policy to cut its use in half.
So, what’s the cost of making the switch? Nothing, really. You’re using less in supplies, which means you’ll be buying less in supplies. Digital documents take up almost no space, and hundreds of thousands of them can be stored on the backups you likely already have for your small business. This is why going paperless is one of the biggest eco trends – it’s an immediate money saver that you can start for free.
Energy saving appliances are sometimes even cased in recycled plastic. Office equipment suppliers saw the desire for more green equipment, and they were happy to comply. If the equipment and appliances you already use in your office aren’t energy saving, you’re going to need to make the switch. Some of them can be recycled or donated, but things that contain unrecyclable materials or are broken will need to be picked up by a company like 1300 Rubbish.
You’re looking at the costs of new appliances and the cost of having the old ones properly disposed of. These are both one-time costs. While you’re at it, you might as well switch all of your office lighting to LED bulbs, which use as much as 90% less electricity. Since energy efficient appliances and bulbs reduce your energy bill, they will at some point pay for themselves. The only question is when. When you start seeing lower energy bills come in, think of them as unlimited rebates for the equipment you’ve switched.
Installing Green Energy
Not all small businesses will be able to install their own wind towers or solar panels. If trees block the area or the property doesn’t get enough wind, they won’t work effectively. If you can, and your local ordinances will allow you to, the costs depend on how far you want to go.
Fully powering your small business with renewable energy might be initially expensive, but you might never see another power bill. If you create an excess of energy, the utility company might even buy it from you. Best case scenario, you are doing more than just eliminating a monthly bill – you’re actually making money.
If the initial costs for full renewable energy are too much for you, start with partial renewable energy. Set aside the money you’re saving on your energy bill each month, and finance the project the rest of the way with the savings. Your initial investment is low, and there’s no risk involved.
In the long term, going green doesn’t cost you anything. It only saves you money. It’s merely a matter of when those savings amount to what you spent, bringing you to that breakeven point. Look over your bills, get some estimates, and determine when that point will be. It’s probably sooner than you think.