Greening Your Business in Five Easy Steps

While the regular audience of PackagingRevolution.net and Reusable Packaging News (to subscribe, click here) is very familiar with the benefits of reusable packaging, it is great to see it embraced by a wider audience interested in business sustainability, such as in the guest post below:

Greening Your Business in Five Easy Steps

Going green provides two advantages to businesses: It reduces the amount of energy consumed and greatly cuts costs. Five great ways to make your business greener are to save paper, reduce energy used by machines, switch to energy efficient lighting, use environmentally friendly shipping methods, and of course recycle materials. Learning about a new electricity provider such as Direct Energy can also help you save money.

Reducing the amount of paper used, as well as reusing and recycling, can save landfills from piling up. Producing paper requires energy, water and trees. When we save paper, it reduces the need to cut down trees and produce more paper. About one tree can create 10,000 sheets of paper. Paper makes up about 40% of landfill waste. Try to buy paper that utilizes mostly recycled content to produce it. Only print what is necessary. Encourage coworkers and clients to use email, and only print something if it is very important. Instead of printing a document, you can “print to PDF” and save it as a file on your computer. This actually makes documents easier to find, and they are all right there on your computer for future reference.

Probably the most important way to go green would be to print on both sides of the paper. The average office employee prints 10,000 sheets of paper every year. If everyone prints utilizing both sides of the paper, we can reduce the amount of paper used by half, surprisingly enough. Using direct deposit is also a paper saver. It saves employees a trip to the bank. It is a safe, expedient and trustworthy way to pay employees.

Reducing energy consumption by machines is very helpful when going green. Turn off electronics and other equipment when they are not in use. Unplugging machines all together, however, is the preferable method of saving energy. Even when they are switched off, most machines will use a low level of energy. If you are not too keen on unplugging every device in the office every day, a less annoying way to turn everything off is to get a power strip surge protector. It allows you to have multiple machines plugged into one source so you only have to deal with one plug for several things.

Saving energy from light bulbs is also important. Buying energy efficient light bulbs can save a ton of energy. Using natural lighting is also a great option. It actually creates a more comfortable environment.

Shipping items requires a lot of materials, so make sure the way you ship things is environmentally friendly. Some suppliers will actually take back packaging supplies in order to reuse them. This option is probably the most energy efficient way to ship things, second to just recycling the materials. It is very possible to minimize the amount of packing materials being used by using boxes that are sized better for the item being shipped. This way, you wouldn’t have to use so much stuffing inside the box to protect the item.

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