According to a recent Manta poll, of the 1,174 small businesses surveyed about their attitudes and initiatives around sustainability, a majority of small business owners (93%) believe that sustainability is important to their small business, and are embracing eco-friendly practices. About two in three (64%) owners say they try to reuse or donate items, 58% recycle, 32% work with green vendors, 25% purchase Energy Star appliances and 20% run a paper-free office.
In celebration of Earth Day, we wanted to ask our small business experts how they strive to keep their offices green. Here’s what they had to say:
“At JWalking Designs, we celebrate Earth Day EVERY day! Our running skirts, kilts and shirts are all made from recycled plastic bottles (84% recycled PET and 16% Spandex) which keep them lightweight, flexible, breathable and comfortable. Our EcoGreen fabric takes plastic bottles out of our landfills and gives them new life.” –Alison Obrien, JWalking Designs
“We keep our small business green by (1) choosing paperless statements on all our financial accounts (checking, credit card, loan docs, etc), (2) only providing electronic statements to our customers, and (3) having a digital-only product. Other than the electricity to run our computers (which we need) we are low-carbon.” –Mike Scanlin, Born to Sell
“Our business is green without even trying. We are a registration software, so our goal is to help organizations ditch paper applications, which are admin nightmares, inefficient and wasteful, and replace it with an online database stored in the cloud. We practice what we preach and actually use our own system to manage our leads and clients. Instead of half of our office full of filing cabinets, all of our client data is stored online, we do all of our task management with an online project management tool, billing and invoicing is also done via email and online. Not only is it green, it consolidates our data into one place that is easily accessible to everyone on our team.” –Asaf Darash, Regpack
“We create all of our candles to be completely green! We start with our cotton wicks that are free from toxic chemicals like lead. Our main ingredient is 100% soy wax that is biodegradable, carbon-neutral, and produces a long-lasting, clean burn. When you’re done, you can even re-use the 4 oz mason jar containers for everyday use!” –Arianna DiMatteo, Aria Bella Candles
“Want to keep your business green? Make it easier for your employees to save on gas. Our office is a block away from Grand Central Station, which makes that pretty simple. But it’s something every small business owner should consider, wherever you are. When considering a business location, take a look at a transit map to see if that will be an option for your customers and employees. A suburban office park might be a tempting way to save on rent, but by placing your business out of the way, you’ll make it much harder for employees to take public transit.
There are other ways to help your employees save on gas. You can allow them to work from home one day a week, or allow workers to go completely remote – two of our full-time writers work remotely. You can also give employees the option to work a four-day schedule with extended hours.” –Marc Prosser, Fit Small Business
“’Blu’ prides itself on sourcing the purest most potent ingredients including organic in all of its formulations. Cruelty Free, Gluten Free, Non-GMO, Vegan, No Parabens, No Polymers, No Sulphates, No Artificial Colors or Fragrances. Our ingredients are plant derived and formulated with botanicals. We are committed to all of our products being non-GMO as well as nutritious for your skin and as close to 100% organic whenever possible. In addition to already being a green company in regards to our products, Blu employees use either a mac or iPhone. We hardly ever use our printer. We utilize emails and texts as much as possible.” –Zondra Wilson, Blu Skin Care, LLC
“We have been a member of Green America for many years. A business is required to meet certain criteria in order to be part of the organization.” –Sherry Holub, JVM Design
“The go-to green strategy in our agency is to be paperless. We use a suite of document management tools such as Evernote, Google Apps and Dropbox, e-signing technologies, and scanning hardware to make this process easy. Our commitment to a paperless existence goes beyond our back office, we also use iPads for displaying client presentations at events, and electronic billboards vs. paper banners.” –Lindsey C. Holmes, Usable Tech Co
“At first, we had hoped to protect the environment by using energy efficient lightbulbs; they would help me save money in the long term because they use less energy while at the same time benefitting me. We take advantage of the sun as our light source a majority of the time because our office is facing the outside in multiple angles; this allows us to enjoy the natural light at the same time without releasing pollution from the electricity. This environmental friendly purpose of our business makes us a major part of our identity because many other competitors do not do this. We can feel good about helping the environment and we can definitely feel proud of our achievements!” –AJ Saleem, Suprex Private Tutoring
“We have training sessions for all employee regarding compliance with environmental regulations. We shred any mail that we don’t need and recycle the paper. We have a recycle bin for cans and plastic. Any time we have the opportunity, we sign up for paperless. We have installed automated switches with motion sensor that turn off the light when there is nobody in the office. We try to donate used electronics as much as we can, and if we don’t donate it, we will be sure to dispose of it properly. In our bathroom, our faucets also have motion censors and will turn off automatically when the person leaves. We have also replaced paper towels with blow dryers in the bathrooms. Our computers are also set to perform at power saver setting, and they will turn off their screens if not in use for 20 or more minutes.” –Jesse Harrison, Zeus Legal Funding
“Being located in the desert southwest, a huge issue is water waste. Instead of wasting water on patches of grass, we created desert landscaping in front of our office which consists of a beautiful layout of desert plants that survive the desert heat with minimal water. We also eradicated the use of paper in the office by only using laptops, ipads, and document sharing applications. Eliminating paper use was initially difficult for our less tech savvy employees, but by the end of the first paper free month there was a general consensus that our work had become MORE streamlined as a result!” –Tiffany Jones, The Agency Southwest
“To keep our business green we never buy packing/shipping materials. We reuse all materials from ingredient purchases. We’ve reduced paper waste by emailing invoices to our customers instead of printing them. If we can’t reuse something, we recycle everything that’s able to be recycled. We ensure our packaging is 95% recyclable, including use kraft paper shopping bags that can be reused by our customers.” –Kristen and Frank Pizzo, Bath, Body, and Candle Moments
“We only use remanufactured toner and ink cartridges. The average laser printer cartridge can be remanufactured 3-4 times and each recycled cartridge saves about two ounces of oil and about 2.5 pounds of metal and plastic. And what’s even better is they’re about 15% less than new ones. Saving Mother Earth and money at the same time!” –Lori Cheek, Cheekd
“We encourage ecofriendly autos, bike riding to work and plenty of healthy for the environment eating. The most important thing I’ve found as an entrepreneur is leading by example. We also seek out clients who have a responsible philosophy built into their ethos, like Patagonia.” –Aaron Keller, Capsule
“My business functions almost solely utilizing online software, which helps me avoid loads of paper files. The software that helps save the most printing is my invoicing and contract software. My clients and I can both sign contracts online without printing them out and scanning them. This is great for the environment and it saves everyone time.” –Hope Brookins, The Brookins Agency
“In general you should remind business owners that going Green is not all or nothing. Every little bit helps. If every American saved just one gallon of water today, that would be enough to supply a city the size of San Francisco for nearly a week. If all you do is to replace incandescent light bulbs with LEDs as needed, that is better than nothing. Collecting rain water can be as cheap and easy as putting out a bucket or as complicated as you wish. Getting solar powered lights for some of your outdoor lighting can be very cheap and save some electricity. The best way to keep your business green is to make going green part of your core value system. Once going green really means something to you, the rest is easy.” –Pablo Solomon, Artist & Designer
“At Joosr, we’re a 100% cloud business. We have no paper in the office at all – no printer, no filing cabinets. Everything we do is stored digitally and as well as keeping things green, it helps us to keep secure.” –Darren Boyd-Annels, Joosr
“Piperoos is a small two-person team start-up that strives to be earth-friendly in everyway possible! We use organic cotton for our baby products, print with soy-based ink on recycled cardboard for our packaging, and pay an extra fee to off-set our carbon footprint every time we ship our Everyday Cotton Pads to our clients. To boot, we also do everything electronically – no printer necessary!” –Cora and Sarah, Piperoos
“We install custom blinds and shades for residential and commercial clients. Since we practice what we preach, we have beautiful blinds throughout our office on all of the windows. This allows for us to save on our energy bill by not having to use as much light and we are also able to reduce cooling costs since the shades block out the sunlight and keep the room cooler.” –Denise Morrison, Continental Blinds and Care
“As a business that is committed to hiring people with disabilities, we thrive on telework to empower our staff. By having a remote office, we have saved the emissions of close to a dozen people who would need to commute to an office, but often can’t due to their disability.
Additionally, as a company that makes technology accessible to people with disabilities, in lieu of direct mail pieces, we use electronic mail campaigns to reach our audience. A portion of our market is either blind or low vision and they can’t always see what is printed. By distributing our marketing materials online or through phone calls, we not only save trees but provide the benefits of full inclusion of people with disabilities.” –Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners
“Paper Mart is moving towards more green or natural packaging not only because we believe that providing those options to our customers is the right thing to do, but because our customers are demanding it. As businesses become more conscious about the environment and the waste created by non-recyclable packaging, they begin making better packaging choices. Paper Mart has sourced this type of packaging in fashionable and trending designs, so there really is no compromising when it comes to choosing natural packaging.
Regarding our building, last year we updated our landscaping with plants that require less water usage and we are also looking to implement solar panels this year.” –Buffy Simoni, Paper Mart
If you’re ready to start your own business, protect your intellectual property, work with a Registered Agent, or legally close a business, give MyCorporation a call at 877 692 6772 or visit us at www.MyCorporation.com.