Earth Day is one day of the year when we’re reminded that we’re not alone on this planet, and every little contribution can help preserve it. But this mindset doesn’t have to just happen one day per year. Why not make it an Earth-centered year for your business, and think about how to use your company’s resources for good, no matter how small your organization is?
1. Start From the Inside Out
When you’re trying to figure out ways you can make your company “greener,” don’t just focus on your end product. Instead, start by identifying ways your company can make internal changes to have less of a negative impact on the planet.
Here are some ideas:
- Reduce or eliminate plastic usage: Perhaps you provide your employees with free bottled water. Or maybe you buy an iced coffee every day on your lunch break. Although those practices might sound minor, they can add up over time, even if you diligently recycle (keep in mind that recycling isn’t a perfect solution to waste). Once you’ve identified areas where you needlessly produce waste, you can address the problem quickly, and maybe even save some money in the process. After all, providing employees with reusable water bottles will end up being a lot less costly than purchasing bottled water again and again. And, you don’t even have to skip out on your daily Starbucks fix–just purchase a reusable coffee cup. You might also consider compostable plates and utensils at the office.
- Organize environmentally friendly activities: If you’d like to take a more active and ongoing approach to going green, you might consider organizing company-wide activities that focus on improving the planet’s well-being. For example, you can encourage your team members to sign up for a shoreline or forest clean up, plant bee-friendly flowers or plant trees. If you’re having trouble convincing your employees to participate, you can offer incentives such as extra paid time off, gift cards or small bonuses.
- Reduce carbon emissions: Even if your company is small, your carbon emissions can still have a negative impact on the environment. To help remedy this, you can promote the usage of carpooling to work, install energy efficient lighting, switch off and unplug office equipment when it’s not in use, cut down on air conditioning and invest in better insulation.
If you’re persistent about making your company greener, it’s likely that your team will get on board over time.
2. Give Back
Helping the planet doesn’t have to mean taking time out of your day to participate in clean ups (although doing so is a great idea!). You can also put your company’s resources to good use by donating to non-profit organizations or working with businesses who are mindful of their environmental impact.
To start, do a little research on your local environmental organizations. Perhaps there’s an organization that works to clean up your town’s water systems, or one that preserves open space. Choose one or more that resonate with you, and donate however much you can. It’s cliched, but it’s true: every dollar makes a difference. If you want to get more involved, you can partner up with nearby organizations to host events or promote green practices. You can even do pro bono work for select organizations (like we do).
Next, consider the companies you do business with. When you’re deciding which enterprises you should work with, keep their Earth-friendly efforts in mind. Give preference to organizations who are mindful of their environmental impact, strive to reduce waste and emissions and support environmental causes.
For example, many companies (including bizbuzzcontent!) are members of 1 Percent for the Planet, an international communities of businesses who have pledged to donate one percent of their profits to organizations that work to preserve our planet. Through 1 Percent for the Planet, more than $175 million dollars have been used to protect the environment.
3. Make Your Output “Greener”
Now, it’s time to consider how you can adjust your output to help the environment.
- Go paperless: Instead of sending your clients and customers invoices, promotions or newsletters through the mail, save the trees and reduce your paper waste by sending emails instead. This can also be applied to ebooks and white papers, which you can encourage readers to access digitally rather than in print.
- Promote products with environmental causes: Let your customers feel like they’re taking part in your green efforts by promoting a product or service that helps the earth. For example, maybe once a year you donate a portion of a specific product’s sales to environmental organizations.
- Give discounts: Just as Pokemon Go has done, you can encourage customers to protect the planet by offering them discounts or other benefits for taking part in green activities. You could accomplish this by selling your products and services to customers who participate in clean ups at a reduced price, or matching their donations to an environmental non-profit.
- Use green materials: If any part of your products or services involves a physical item, make an effort to use materials that are as sustainable as possible, and let customers know that you’ve done so. For instance, you could use 100 percent post-consumer recycled material in your cardboard packaging.
One side benefit of making your output more environmentally friendly is that you can attract new customers and clients in the process. It’s truly a win-win-win situation–the environment is helped, your company establishes a positive image and your customers can feel good about purchasing from you.
Here at bizbuzzcontent, we’re deeply committed to protecting the one-of-a-kind planet we call home, and we hope you are too. No matter how small your company is, you can make a difference, not just on Earth Day but on every day of the year.
What did you do to celebrate this year’s Earth Day? Are you planning on implementing any new, more environmentally-friendly practices in your company? Let me know in the comments!