Go green with easy and affordable eco-friendly small business practices that help your small business contribute toward saving the environment. There are many good reasons to go green with your small business, with benefits both long and short term. You'll save money, produce less waste, reduce your carbon footprint and dependence on harmful processes, enjoy excellent public relations, and ultimately be a more profitable and eco-friendly company. Best of all, it's easy to go green - if you're not sure where to start try the following small business green practices.
Print with soy inks on recycled paper
Every small business needs marketing collateral, and responsible printing is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to go green. Start by choosing a printing company that prints with soy inks and offers recycled paper. Great selections include 13-point recycled matte or 80-pound recycled matte paper stocks because they enrich your colors. You don't want to sacrifice quality to go green, and soy inks are perfect substitutes for volatile organic compound-producing petroleum inks because they release far fewer VOCs and are capable of more vibrant colors off the press.
Mail marketing materials directly from your printer
Direct-mail marketing involves the use of planes and automobiles, so carbon emissions are currently unavoidable. However, you can drastically reduce your carbon footprint in this arena by having your printing company directly mail your materials to your customers straight from the print shop. This eliminates the middle man - the shipping emissions (and fees that go along with shipping) - to you. Coupled with the ability to upload via ftp, this eco-friendly small business practice also reduces paper packaging waste.
If you want to go green, your small business should definitely recycle. Not only does recycling reduce paper and landfill waste, it saves you money on garbage hauling so it's also an economical way to go green.
You should also consider choosing a printing company that recycles press cuts so your supply decisions have far-reaching effects beyond your own internal green efforts.
Hand-deliver brochures, posters, door hangers and flyers
If your market is in a tight local area, head out on foot or bicycle to hand-deliver brochures, flyers, posters and door hangers. You'll be furthering your green efforts and also getting your face into the community, which can certainly help your public relations and branding efforts. Best of all, you'll save money, get out of the office for a few hours, and stay fit in the fresh air when you deliver your marketing materials yourself!
To make it even more fun, get staff involved to see who can make the most "deliveries" in two hours. Everyone gets out of the office and will come back refreshed and re-energized - a way to go green with your employees.
As you can see, it really doesn't take much effort to go green with your small business - and you can actually save quite a bit of money doing so.