Many businesses are hopping onto the green train- some because they want to, and some because new laws demand it! If you are a business trying to live a green lifestyle, it can be difficult to measure how much benefit a green practice actually has on your business.
The easiest way to measure green effectiveness is to compare your bills or emissions from before you implemented the practices to after. This is the most effective way to measure the difference you are making. Your utility bills will show how much energy you are using after the change, and your emissions list will show how much difference your new processes are making. Some changes, like switching to recycled materials are hard to determine, but you can use general guidelines and algorithms to determine how much benefit those practices are providing the planet.
Here are some simple ways you can make your business greener:
Supplement energy use
This is one of the biggest ways to improve the green of your business. Supplement your existing energy use with a solar panel or windmill power. This will reduce your carbon footprint and can also help reduce your energy bills. Lower bills equals more benefit to everyone. If you have shipping trucks, try using more fuel-efficient vehicles or vehicles with alternative fuel sources. Try to conduct business locally to reduce the travel time and energy consumption of your trucks.
Businesses are huge consumers. If you can reduce your consumption you can make a large difference in the world. Try using less paper and placing information on computers more. Try turning off all computers at night, or maybe even having fewer computers in your business. Turn off lights when not in use to reduce utilities. Turn the water heater down a couple of notches to conserve energy. Have employees bring dishes from home rather than purchasing disposables for them to use.
Reusing materials is a great way to reduce your environmental impact. Try using recycled materials as often as you can. Recycle products after you are done with them. Try to extend the use of current equipment by repairing rather than replacing when they break. Purchase recycled supplies for the office and for your products.
If you improve the insulation of your building, you will automatically reduce how much energy you consume. Try adding a roof garden for additional roof insulation. Add additional insulation to your walls, floor and ceiling. This will help keep the energy used in your building stay there, so nothing you consume is wasted.
Measuring your environmental impact is not difficult and it can be helpful in determining which green practice is the most effective. If you really want to know precise details about how much energy you are saving, or how much benefit you are having on the planet, then you can hire a consultant to measure the precise output of your company. Otherwise, a general comparison of your various bills and expenses is enough to know if your efforts are making a difference.
This is a guest post by Lindsey Mcmahon. Her interests are entertainment, television, parenting and health but she is constantly extending her field of view to incorporate interesting news suggested to her by her readers. She currently works for Common Ground.