If you want to attract Millennials when hiring for your small business, one thing you can do is to make sure that you’ve got good green practices in place. The environment is a top priority for them, and for good reason. They have seen the destruction of it since they were born. Really, though, you should want to do this simply because it’s good for Mother Earth. If the extent of your green knowledge extends to recycling at home, we can help. Read on for ten ways to make your small business greener.
- Install Light Timers
When your employees are working, they are (hopefully!) busy, so turning off the light in a copy room or any other room for that matter probably isn’t going to be a top priority. Make it a no-brainer by installing light timers so that they go off when there is no motion in that room.
- Go Paperless
How many times have you gotten a paper agenda at a meeting and thought, “Why? Just why?” There really is no need for that, as nowadays most of us have laptops in front of us anyway. Stress the importance of this to your employees. Have them think about it every time they go to print something: “Do I really need to print this or can I send it as an email or memo?” You can reduce the guilt of “killing trees” by also using recycled paper for the times when you do need to print something. For interoffice documents to be printed make sure to use both the back and front to save paper.
- Change Your Bulbs
Talk about a light bulb moment. Many people don’t think about the impact simply changing out bulbs can have on the environment. As this Forbes.com article notes, “Though CFL and LED lights both have a higher purchase price than standard incandescent bulbs, they last significantly longer and use much less energy. CFL and LED bulbs can replace standard bulbs in most fixtures and can save you up to $200 per bulb over time.”
- Expand Your Recycling Views
Sure, you’ve got the blue bin for paper and drinks. Who doesn’t? But is your office set up for computer recycling? If not, you’re sending toxic waste to our landfills and failing to conserve precious natural resources. As the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition notes, approximately 70 percent of heavy metals in US landfills come from electronics. E-waste is no joke.
- Invest in a Smart Thermostat
Smart electronics and other smart features are things that Millennials often look for when renting homes, buying cars, etc. Although a smart thermostat will cost you up front, it will pick up on your heating and cooling habits as an office and ultimately save you money on top of saving energy.
- Offer Incentives
First and foremost, educating your employees on how to go green in the workplace is a must. You can even try something fun like creating a company garden. Of course, incentives are always helpful, especially in a business environment. Offering gift cards, days off, or parking spots for employees or teams that help to lower energy bills, use the least paper, etc. can be a unique and motivational way to accomplish your green goals.
- Go Remote
If you’ve been in an office setting for a while and have had a huge realization that everything you do from there can be done just as efficiently at home, it might be time to consider going remote. Most employees will love this, it will save you money, and it will obviously cut down on energy related costs to your bottom line and the environment. If you don’t want to go completely remote, you can consider offering employees the opportunity to use coworking spaces.
- Sweat the Small Stuff
Things like using rechargeable batteries or getting your ink cartridges refilled instead of just throwing them away might seem like they’re not making an impact but trust us when we tell you that they will in the long run.
- Salute the Sun
Solar power isn’t just for homes. You can enlist the help alternative energy sources in your office, too. Or simply take advantage of natural light by having windows installed or expanded.
- Get an Audit
Yes, we know—just the term “audit” makes you want to cringe. However, this one is a good thing. Often times, business or government agencies will offer free (or at least low cost) audits to come in and let you know ways in which your business is wasting energy. Once you know the problem areas, you can turn things around with a few tweaks.
Going green doesn’t have to mean reinventing the wheel. Try out these 10 easy ways to reduce your carbon footprint in your office and you can feel great about your green efforts.
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