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Going Green: Simple Ways to be an Eco-Friendly Business

Lindsay McGuire
March 30, 2020
Min Read

Is your organization interested in becoming more eco-friendly? As the world’s population continues to expand, it’s important for the nearly 200 million businesses across the globe find ways to protect the environment and conserve resources.

Yet it can seem like a big challenge to implement environmentally-friendly processes and procedures. Of course, things like eliminating single-use plastic and minimizing carbon emissions can be huge endeavors to take on. You don’t have to start with projects like these; there are simple ways to be an eco-friendly business that don’t take drastic measures or a large investment of time and money.

If you’re able to tackle bigger environmental issues at your organization and make changes for the better, we encourage and applaud you. But if you’re looking for simpler eco-friendly projects for your business, we have some ideas for you below.

Transition from paper to digital receipts.

If your company prints receipts, it might be time to look into transitioning to completely digital receipts to minimize the amount of paper your organization uses. You’ll need to look into the options provided by your POS system, but oftentimes you can provide customers the choice between receiving a receipt through text or email. Bonus: this is oftentimes more convenient for the customer.

Ensure you’re recycling correctly.

Many offices and organizations have instilled recycling, but are employees using it correctly? The average recycling contamination rate is 25%, meaning that 1 in 4 items put in a recycling container is either not recyclable, dirty, or considered a hazardous material. When items that cannot be recycled are placed in a recycling container, it can ruin the entire batch, turning all those items into trash.

eco-friendly business recycling

To avoid recycling contamination, meet with your local recycling processor to understand what items they do and do not accept. Acceptable items can vary widely across recycling providers due to differences in machinery and markets. Once you have a clear understanding of what can go into the recycling bin, educate employees on a regular basis to keep recycling from getting contaminated.

Use online storage options instead of paper filing.

Why print paper and file it in a cabinet when you can digitally store everything you need in one secure and easily accessible location? Avoid needing physical cabinets, minimize (or even eliminate) the need to print documents, and reduce other physical waste by transitioning any physical paper storage to digital. This may take time if you have a large quantity of paper documents in storage, but once a digital process is in place, it’s simple to upkeep.

Support eco-friendly businesses.

Think about the ripple effect you could create by choosing to do business with companies who also focus on being eco-friendly. When you’re considering a new product, service, or partnership, take some time to investigate whether they have a focus on environmentally-friendly practices. This can be done by searching their website or simply asking the sales rep you’re working with. You may even discover some great ideas to take back to your business once you’ve begun the conversation.

Eliminate paper as much as possible.

You may think that paper usage in offices has diminished over the years, but paper is still rampant throughout businesses. According to studies, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year.

eliminate paper with digital tools

Eliminating paper from your office can be easy. Here are a few simple ideas to help minimize paper usage at your business:

Consider giving away experiences instead of stuff.

Minimizing waste is incredibly important when considering ways to protect and conserve the environment. If you’re hosting an event, welcoming new employees, or meeting with a potential new client, consider offering experiences instead of more stuff.

Many people don’t necessarily need another pen, water bottle, or pin. Instead of giving away pieces like these, provide coupons to local restaurants, museums, or movie theaters. You could even provide branded local food items, like cookies or cake, to ensure your branding is still front and center.

The time to be eco-friendly is now.

The time to transition to more environmentally-friendly processes is now. As we face unprecedented challenges across the world, it’s never been more important to put the environment first in order to protect our planet and people.

The ideas above are simple ways you can start minimizing impact on the Earth at your business today. But don’t stop there! We encourage you to keep researching into other eco-friendly ways to help your business go green.

Do you want to share something your business has done? Tweet it to us! We’d love to hear how your business is making smart changes to be more eco-friendly.


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Lindsay McGuire
Lindsay is the Content Marketing Manager at Formstack, splitting her time between creating blog content, writing reports, and hosting Formstack's Practically Genius podcast. She's a proud graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism (MIZ!) and loves connecting with others on LinkedIn.
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