Leadership: Why (and How) Your Small Business Can Go Green

Save Money by Going Green

Do you ever feel discouraged when you read an article about a huge company like Walmart saving bazillions of dollars and acres of rainforest by doing something like dimming their store lights 10 watts one day a week? If you’re a small business owner who cares about the planet, sometimes the small size of your company can make it seem like nothing you do has much impact.

Au contraire. In fact, it is precisely the fact that your company is so small that gives you free reign to make more earth-friendly changes than your average mega-conglomerate. Here are some things you can do to save the planet (and save money) that Walmart can’t:

Share space with another company, rent an office only when needed (use office suite solutions like Regis), or use one of the many shared workspaces that are popping up to cater to home-based workers and freelancers.

Run your business from home. Even businesses with employees or partners can use this option, thanks to tech solutions like Skype and GoToMeeting that make it easy to hold conference calls and teleconferences. (To keep from going stir crazy, be sure to get out and meet in person once a week or so.) Use virtual employees or contractors. Thanks to the Internet, it’s easier than ever to work with people across the country (or world) without any of you spending a dollar on gas or a minute in traffic.

Use online job boards to find freelancers and virtual workers, and online collaboration tools to work with them.

Cool your office by opening your windows instead of turning on the air (if you’re lucky enough to have an office where the windows open). And here are some things Walmart can do—but you can do them too and still make a difference (no matter how small):

  • Recycle paper.
  • Buy recycled paper.
  • Print only when you absolutely must.
  • Telecommute when possible.
  • Turn your computers, lights and monitors off every night.
  • Buy used office furniture (re-use keeps things out of landfills).
  • Meet with clients by conference call or teleconference when you can (it keeps your carbon footprint smaller than airplane flights or driving).

Now you don’t have to drive to your SCORE office to meet with your Mentor—SCORE helps you save gas and eliminate pollution by getting counseling online, 24/7.

Rieva Lesonsky
<p> Rieva is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a content and consulting company specializing in covering small businesses and entrepreneurship. She was formerly Editorial Director of Entrepreneur Magazine and has written several books about small business and entrepreneurship. <br /> <a href="http://www.growbizmedia.com/" target="_blank" title="GrowBizMedia">GrowBizMedia.com</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/rieva" target="_blank" title="Rieva on Twitter">@rieva</a> | <a href="https://www.score.org/author/Rieva-Lesonsky/all-posts" title="blogs by Rieva">More from Rieva</a></p>


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