Everyone’s going green these days, and businesses are no exception. And considering the data, it’s hard to imagine why any business owner wouldn’t want to.
By one estimate, 55% of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for products from companies committed to positive social and environmental impact. Supplemental research suggested that as many as 90% of consumers would switch to brands that support causes like environmentalism.
With numbers like those, it’s clear that running an eco-friendly business isn’t only about caring for our planet. By not doing so, you’re leaving yourself at a disadvantage against forward-thinking green businesses.
So to help you stay competitive and go green while doing it, we’ve compiled these eco-friendly tips for running a business.
1. Reduce Single-Use Items
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Single-use items like straws, cups, and takeout containers account for about 150 billion tons of plastic waste a year. By switching over to reusable items where possible, you can help put a dent in that titanic figure.
Still, if you run a restaurant or cafe, you may be limited in how many reusable items you can actually use on a daily basis. In these cases, switching over from plastics to compostable materials can help make up the difference.
Compostable cups, trays, and the like are made out of plant materials. Rather than being thrown away, they can be sent to a composting facility where they’ll break down into compost instead of winding up in a landfill or the oceans.
2. Reduce Water Usage
With water shortages gripping much of the country, it’s more important than ever to be conscious of our water use.
A single leaking pipe can cause as much as 10,000 gallons of water waste a year, so small things like maintaining your plumbing can go a long way in cutting down on usage. And if you run a business like a restaurant that relies on water, installing low-flow fixtures can help you make more efficient use out of your water.
3. Recycle and Compost Whenever Possible
Using recyclable and compostable materials is great, but they don’t help much if your staff and patrons don’t have a place to dispose of them.
Putting recycling and compost bins throughout your business is a simple but effective way to help reduce the overall amount of waste your business produces. And if you run a business that makes use of a lot of ink cartridges and electronics, having a designated recycling drop-off for these materials can prevent toxins and heavy metals from making their way into our environment.
4. Dispose of Waste Properly
No matter how stringent we are about reducing and recycling, businesses still tend to produce waste items that we can’t dispose of ourselves. When these materials accumulate, making sure that they’re dealt with is non-negotiable.
Food businesses, for example, tend to produce large amounts of spent cooking oil. Dumping it down the drain is a recipe for blocked waterways, but throwing it out with the rest of the trash isn’t a great solution, either.
But what many business owners may not realize is that spent cooking oil is actually recyclable. Not only that, but some companies will even pay you for your used oil.
Running an Eco-Friendly Business Made Easy
Making a shift toward eco-friendly business practices is essential to ensuring that we and the generations to come can all enjoy a healthy planet. And as the public at larger grows more engaged with environmental causes, businesses will need to adapt to those attitudes to stay relevant.
Going green is easier than you might think with these simple tips. But in an ever-shifting business landscape, they’re only the beginning.
To make sure you’re always on the competitive cutting edge, be sure to keep up with our latest business tips.