Kermit once declared, “It ain’t easy being green.” Today, that statement takes on a new meaning. Many consumers are baffled with the costs of going green, from toxic-free cleaning products to solar power installation. Oh yes, saving the planet isn’t always free.
My favorite coffee shop/second home office seeks countless ways to reuse and recycle. For Starbucks, it’s second nature (get it?) to offer coffee sleeves “made with 60% post-consumer fiber”. It’s understandable that the small business owner probably won’t have the means or manpower to transform their products the way my office does. However, there is no reason why we all shouldn’t take smaller steps towards greenery:
Buy recycled products whenever possible. Many office supplies have earth-friendly versions of them, while other products are simply reusable (like folders and binders, for example). There is a website, www.rebinder.com, which is dedicated to selling only recycled office supplies, but you can always swap with your fellow entrepreneur. A-ha!
Share and share alike. Again, your business buddy might be able to share with you any excess materials they have in que for disposal. Before the sanitation department makes it to their house or other place of business, call them.
Improvise. My mom is the queen of improvising. She’d make anything a reusable container. Get creative and turn one item into another idea (and save some money, too!) I’ve used a stack of books as a nightstand a time or two. As a writer, I am not only saving a tree or buying plastics for a table; using books as an accent piece, frankly, makes me look good.
Lights out. So much energy is wasted on lighting. Let the sunshine in. And while you’re at it, get unplugged sometimes. It’s nothing for me to break out a notepad (with recyclable paper of course) and actually write and give the laptop or iPhone a rest.
Spread the word. Small steps can only snowball into a movement when you spread the word about going green. Any YouTube video — showing a melting Antarctica or a polluted lake — should get your networking comrades motivated and ready to save the planet, in any way they can.
For us small businesses owners, going green doesn’t have to put a dent into our wallets. These steps listed above, and more — with your creativity — can easily become part of your daily or weekly routine. By the way, you might want to keep in mind that your own prospects and customers have found ways to go green, and birds of a feather flock together: the green business owner gets the other green…the sale.