It can seem like green initiatives, and changes are best left to much larger, better-funded enterprises when you are a relatively small fish, but that could not be further from the truth. All it takes is the will to make a difference and, importantly, knowledge of how and where you can best maximize your impact.
There are myriad ways for small businesses to make green changes and maximize their green impact. Below are three such changes that you, as a small business owner, can make today.
Small businesses can feel that, because of their small size, their greening and other efforts to make a positive environmental impact will amount to drops in the bucket. A great way for small businesses to have an outside green impact, however, is to be more discerning when it comes to their banking.
There is an increasing number of banks and financial institutions worldwide that are focused on green banking, which means divesting from industries and companies that are responsible for a disproportionate amount of pollution. These financial institutions are also investing money in companies with more sustainable business models. By using these banks and financial institutions, small businesses are helping to capitalize green and sustainable business with further economic reach and a larger impact.
Small businesses, whether run from home or out of a small commercial space, have opportunities to increase their energy efficiency. Whether you are replacing single-pane, out-of-date windows or swapping out old light bulbs for new energy-efficient ones, there are many things you can do around the home and office to help cut down on your energy costs, especially if you live somewhere with extreme temperatures throughout the year.
Additional energy efficiency changes you can make include more efficient washers and dryers, toilets, riding a bicycle to work whenever possible, and keeping your car off the road and taking public transport to work or to run errands.
Small businesses can also make green changes via the credit cards they choose to use for business purposes. If you are thinking about switching business cards, consider opting for one that has partnered with an environmental agency or sustainability-related non-profit. These cards are a great way to offset the cost of doing business while also helping to support the work of important global environmental institutions.
The way these cards typically work is by donating a percentage of each dollar spent on the card to a partner non-profit or organization. The WWF, for instance, has partnered with Mastercard and Visa and, depending on your bank, you can direct a bit of every purchase you make towards the WWF’s objectives and operations.
Going green doesn’t mean you have to upend your business model and start from scratch. There are plenty of small but meaningful gestures and changes that all small businesses can make to improve their climate and environmental impact. Keep the above three in mind and feel good about doing business while doing your part for a greener future.