As a business owner, you’re constantly having to keep an eye on your operating budget. Regular expenses can take their toll and finding ways to decrease how much you spend each month can dramatically improve your cash flow for the rest of the year. The easiest way to save money and slash your operating budget for the long-term is by making your office more eco-friendly. Here are a few simple things you can do to reduce your office’s carbon footprint.
Trash is one of the biggest problems for the environment. Landfills keep growing and there never seems to be enough room to handle the waste produced by both businesses and homes. Adding recycling bins to your office kitchen and common areas can cut down on the amount of trash you contribute to the landfill. Just make sure to post clear directions about what can and can’t be recycled and sort your recyclables appropriately.
Just having recycling available isn’t enough to make a difference. Making sure that your reusable products don’t end up in the dump like the rest of the trash, you have to make sure all employees are recycling “clean”. This means to only recycle materials that are labeled and rinsing out containers before putting them in the recycling. It could be helpful to train your employees on the purpose and importance of recycling when possible. This way, there will be less confusion about what should be recycled and what should be put in the trash.
Think about all those filing cabinets you have in your office. What are they full of? Paper. Every single sheet of paper requires gallons of water to produce. Worse, those files take up a lot of much-needed space around your office. Instead of leaving them in place, make the transition to paperless files. These files stay in the cloud or on hard drives that take up minimal space in your office. Even better, you won’t have to worry about spending hours searching for the documents you need. Those paperless files are searchable and you’ll be able to track them down with a few keystrokes.
Making this transition doesn’t only help the environment, but it allows your company to stay modern and up-to-date. Using paper for documents is old school since many businesses are communicating and sharing documents online. Taking this step will move your business forward and show your customers that you are comfortable changing with the modern era.
Your business’s light fixtures are a major source of electricity use. Even halogen and fluorescent bulbs use more energy than necessary just to produce enough light to see by. The more energy you use, the larger your carbon footprint (and your operating expenses) will be. Instead of leaving them in place, upgrade those light fixtures by installing LED bulbs. These bulbs last longer, use a fraction of the amount of electricity and put out almost no heat, keeping your building more comfortable year-round.
If you’re looking to make a large change to your building and are willing to invest in long-term environmentally friendly solutions, installing solar panels is a great choice. These panels harness the power of the sun to generate electricity for your building. If you choose the right solar panel output, you could completely eliminate your building’s electric bill permanently. Imagine not having to pay the utility company for the privilege of being able to turn on the lights, run your electronics, and keep your building climate-controlled!
Solar panels don’t release any greenhouse gases or carbon emissions. Almost 70 percent of our electricity comes from burning fossil fuels like coal and gas. When we burn fossil fuels, they release CO2 in the atmosphere which traps heat. This trapped heat continually warms the earth since it can’t escape and causes global warming. The effects of global warming throughout the years have been extreme weather conditions, melting of ice caps, and acidification of oceans. By switching to solar energy, it would be taking a step in the right direction to show your employees and customers that you are aware of the state our planet is in and that you care about making a difference.
Believe it or not, some buildings still don’t have programmable thermostats in place. These allow you to set the temperature inside the building at different levels based on your company’s needs throughout the day. If you’re relying on a standard thermostat system, replace it with programmable models. This way, you can set your HVAC system to keep your building at the optimal temperature when people are using it and run it slightly less after hours.
Every office goes through supplies each month, but think about why you go through so many so quickly. Is it because everything is disposable and you and your team just toss things away without worry? Instead, buy eco-friendly office supplies to reduce your carbon footprint. By printer paper made from recycled materials. Buy ink and refill your printer cartridges yourself. These simple things will immediately make your business more eco-friendly, but more importantly, they’ll save you money.
Planting trees and shrubs outside of your business building not only adds a great look to your company, but helps out the environment too. Keeping your landscaping green and full of living plants helps to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air to filter out pollution. Plants also provide a habitat for living animals or insects which are essential to our ecosystem. Tall trees could also help cool down your business building by providing shade and blocking out the sun. This means you could use less energy for air conditioning during the summer months.
Standard toilets use a lot of water with every flush. When your entire team uses the restroom several times each day, that can lead to overly high water bills. Replace your standard toilets with low-flow toilets. These use a fraction of the water with each flush without losing the flushing power you need to prevent clogs. Just remember to let a professional commercial plumber install your new toilets. Otherwise, you risk causing serious water damage to your building. While your commercial property insurance will likely cover some of the damage, it’s best to avoid having to file a claim at all.
If you haven’t been staying on top of your HVAC system’s regular maintenance routine, now is the perfect time to start. Schedule a tune-up with your HVAC technician and let them inspect the unit. They’ll be able to spot minor issues before they become major problems. By taking care of those minor repairs quickly, your system will be able to run more efficiently every time it turns on. This can make a huge difference in your energy bills and the overall comfort of your building year-round. Those tune-ups will also help preserve your HVAC system’s warranty, potentially saving you thousands of dollars on repairs down the line.
Implement these eco-friendly changes at your company and you’ll save money and reduce your carbon footprint for the long-run.
You must be logged in to post a comment.