Presenting as both a trend and a necessity, people around the world are working everyday to find new and innovative ways to limit the impact of their lives, both personal and professional, on the Earth. While there are obvious offenders all around us, we can all make worthwhile changes to our routines and processes in order to participate in the slow but steady march towards environmental accountability, often saving money at the same time!
While corporate giants and industry behemoths slowly push towards making their factories, stores and offices more environmentally friendly, small businesses are able to move more quickly with their green efforts thanks, quite simply, to their limited size. Any good job requires a good effort but, with the abundance of tools, information and aid freely available to anyone who wants it, moving your business towards greener pastures doesn’t need to be a difficult task.
With the goal of both reducing your business’ environmental impact and allowing yourself to give it a green stamp of approval for marketing purposes, check out these seven free tools to green your business:
1. Energy Star for Small Business
World-renowned energy auditor and technology developer Energy Star offers free tools for small businesses to audit their energy use, covering everything from lighting to air conditioning in order to increase your business’ financial performance and limit its carbon footprint.
2. Green Seal
A non-profit organization focused on promoting green technology and sustainable business practices, Green Seal provides free products, services and information to help get your business on a greener path. Whether you run a construction contracting firm or a small web design studio, the Green Seal certification that follows committing to ecologically friendly practices will help distinguish your business from your less green competition in the minds of your customers.
A quick look on your desk or in your mailbox is all the proof that you need to know that paper waste, especially in business, continues to be a big problem around the world. The move towards electronic information exchange is making a huge dent in the impact on the world’s trees but more remains to be done.
GreenPrint is a group helping small businesses to greatly reduce their paper waste through better attention to resources, increased use of efficient electronic mediums and enhanced recycling programs and their free tools will help you to know which direction will work best for your business.
4. The Green Office
Offering free advice and paid products and services, The Green Office is a company with everything you need to make your business ventures more environmentally friendly. Their website’s information aims to better educate business owners as to their options, revealing a world of energy efficient devices and green office supplies to help you in your cause.
5. DMA Environmental Planning Tool
This tool from the Direct Marketing Association allows you to complete a very thorough best practices checklist to help you to better understand where your business can improve its green strategy, leaving you with a custom environmental vision statement to help guide you in the future.
6. Free eWaste Recycling
Often forgotten once discarded of but posing a huge risk to the sustainability of our planet, electronic waste is currently filling up the once beautiful shores of Africa and other areas of the world, polluting soil and water with the toxic chemicals used in the manufacturing of computers, cell phones and other consumer electronics.
The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation is a non-profit group that collects and recycles batteries from unused or unusable mobile devices, providing your business with free collection boxes and shipping envelopes to make it as easy as possible!
7. Freecycle Network
Boasting nearly nine million members around the world, the Freecycle Network is a grassroots movement of individuals looking to exchange goods and services for free in the interest of maintaining a minimal footprint on the Earth’s ecology.
Kate is a green blogger for BusinessProfiles.com, the free directory of business profiles in Ohio.