The product or service that you offer may itself be considered green. But even if not, you can make decisions on a daily basis about your day-to-day operations that reduce your impact on the environment, and possibly save you money at the same time!
Carefully choose how you use, reuse, and dispose of the materials that go into the production and packaging of your product/service. Also consider the "hidden" byproducts, like the water you dirty or heat in the process, and what waste you send to landfill. Lastly, consider incorporating green building techniques into renovations and new construction.
Today businesses can choose from a wide variety of packaging materials to protect their products as they move through the supply chain: corrugated cardboard boxes, molded Styrofoam, packing “peanuts”, shrink-wrap, bubble wrap, plastic bags filled with air, metal drums and wooden pallets. Packaging also serves to communicate important product information.
By reducing the amount of packaging, you may decrease costs, minimize waste, and garner increased customer satisfaction.
Consider taking the following steps to reduce packaging waste at your business:
Waste comes from purchased materials that are rendered useless by inefficient processing. Business owners must then pay again to have wasted materials collected and hauled away. Waste hurts your business’s bottom line and its image. Customers and employees favor businesses that reduce waste. For these reasons, many business owners are working toward operating zero-waste businesses.
Reducing waste is also good for the environment. It slows consumption of resources, thereby lessening the pollution that is caused by shipping and processing those materials. Reducing waste also reduces landfill use.
Hazardous waste is difficult to handle properly and safely, and businesses that create hazardous waste must deal with expensive and time-consuming monitoring and reporting duties. Reduction or elimination of hazardous waste from your business activities provides reductions in costs, risks, and compliance requirements while increasing the health and safety of your employees and the environment.
Here are some tips to help you begin reducing waste at your firm:
We can easily take indoor fresh water availability for granted. But it requires energy to treat the water, pump it to your building, maintain pressure at each sink and shower, and heat the hot water. Then it takes additional energy to pump the waste water back to the treatment plant. In short, the less water you use, the better.
This section of the site provides tips for using water wisely to meet the needs of your business. You can begin by:
If you are in the process of renovating, rebuilding or constructing a facility, consider the unique position you are in to have an impact on the very materials you choose to "consume" in this process. That can include everything from the actual bricks and mortar, which could be comprised of recycled or recyclable material, diverting waste from landfill, to choosing local vendors and therefore reducing the carbon footprint of transportation.
A thorough green building project incorporates sustainable design, construction, and operation strategies. Use of environmentally friendly building materials in the construction phase of your project can offer the following benefits:
Green building materials are diverse, affordable, and widely available. When purchasing, look for locally manufactured, recyclable products made with post-consumer recycled content. Select non-toxic materials with low VOC (volatile organic chemical) emissions.
Search EPA's Green Products Portal for guidelines and standards for green products.
One business' trash can be another ones treasure. Before you send your unwanted materials to landfill, consider listing it on EMAP's free on-line waste exchange, Material Trader.
This dmoz Open Directory Project page contains links to nearly 100 organizations that recycle computers, electronics, and related products.