Though there are those who somehow find solace in believing global warming is a hoax, it’s getting harder and harder to ignore the scary climate-related changes all over the planet. You’ll find tips everywhere on how you can lower your personal carbon footprint. Your favorite coffee shop has stopped using plastic straws. Even your child might urge you to turn off the tap while brushing your teeth. Even though all of these efforts are admirable, they will not amount to much until the corporations which are the major polluters accept responsibility. However, while waiting for this to happen, lots of small businesses have decided to go green. Not only will these energy-saving tips for small businesses let you save energy and money, but they can also become part of your branding that will set you apart from your competitors.
Switch it off
One of the best energy-saving tips for small businesses is to switch off all electronics which are not in use. Most modern electronics and other equipment draw standby electricity. This means that they still use energy if they stay plugged in, even if they themselves are not on. Make sure all of your electronics are unplugged when you leave the office space. This will save energy, but it can also keep your electronics safer, as you never know how they can behave if there’s a power outage or a sudden surge of power.
Another one of the great energy-saving tips for small business owners is to consider lighting. Firstly, you should try to take advantage of natural light as much as possible. Secondly, when it’s necessary to switch on the lights, ensure you’re using energy-efficient light bulbs. LED light bulbs use up to 80% electricity than regular bulbs. Finally, think about installing sensors in places like storage space, bathrooms and break rooms. These sensors react to a person’s presence by turning the light on and then the light goes off after a certain amount of time. Many moving companies that offer storage services as well, such as usantini.com use this technology in their storage space in an attempt to make storage more environment-friendly.
Some of these energy-saving tips for small businesses will be fairly easy and inexpensive to implement. However, some will require making an investment, but one that will surely pay dividends in the long run. Considering the problem of temperature management year-round is definitely one of those ways of becoming more energy-efficient. For starters, you will be able to lower your heating bill simply by making sure your office space is properly insulated. In the winter months, heat will escape through every possible crack, and with it your money. One of the most common culprits are windows and doors that aren’t properly sealed. If you have this taken care of, you should also think about organizing your operations in the most energy-efficient way. Maybe there are large offices you’re heating that can fit a couple more desks.
While sealing the cracks will help in the summer as well, one of the greatest ways to be energy efficient in the summer is to invest in quality shades or blinds that will retain the coolness of the air inside without going to town on your AC units.
Getting an energy audit
Getting an energy audit is a great thing to do at the start of your journey to making your small business more energy efficient. Lots of utility companies offer free energy audits which will help you understand how much energy your small business needs and where you might be able to make cuts and adjustments.
Alternative sources of energy
One of the more popular ways businesses decide to go about going green is investing in alternative energy sources. Solar panels, for example, are quite inexpensive in the greater scheme of things. They can provide your small business with a great way to lower your overall energy consumption and the cost that comes with it. You should also look into any tax rebates or state incentives for small businesses that are going the environmental route.
Upgrading all your electronics and other equipment is one of the more important energy-saving tips for small businesses. Pretty much all electronics get a rating describing how energy-efficient they are. Depending on your situation, this might turn into quite an expense. However, the energy you save will make it worth it. If it’s too difficult to put something like this into practice full-on, make a plan on how you can do it within a certain timeframe.
Another way equipment can help you save energy is by using laptops instead of desktop computers. Laptops use much less energy than desktop computers – almost 80% less! If you’re stuck with using desktop computers, you can make sure all of your monitors are among the more energy-efficient ones.
Reuse and recycle
Paper is particularly important to consider within any small business environment. This is something you’ll need to include your employees into. Make sure they only print documents that are absolutely necessary to print. Also, make sure you always print double-sided. Furthermore, you could also consider installing hand dryers in the bathroom. This will also keep people from using way too much paper. Finally, try to use rechargeable batteries for all of the devices that require them.
Transportation offers a well of great energy-saving tips for small businesses, but people often overlook it. First of all, you can encourage your employees to carpool to work instead of all coming to work in their own car. Another thing that can be done is to hold virtual meetings whenever possible. Finally, you can provide incentives for your employees to work from home more often. This will keep them from having to use their cars or public transport and your office will also use up less energy. Going one step further would be to think about actually using clean vehicles for transport.