In 2021, more consumers are becoming self-aware about the impact of their individual actions on the environment. It’s also very timely considering that the threats of climate change are felt through the numerous natural disasters happening all over the world, all while in the midst of a global pandemic.
Now more than ever, people should be wary of the decisions they are making because all these can have detrimental effects on the environment. That’s partly the reason why more consumers are using their purchasing power to sway the companies into following through with their promised sustainable practices in the name of corporate social responsibility.
But even if you aren’t amassing wealth by supplying to global consumer demand, you can still make changes in the way you run your small local business. After all, small efforts to save the environment are still better than the complete lack of effort.
This is because at this point, choosing to be apathetic and ignorant to the woes of the world can be seen as a bad judge of character. You won’t be able to make any sales if your customers see that you aren’t doing your part in helping save the environment. So, here’s how you can start your eco-friendly journey:
1. Choose Environmentally Friendly Packaging from Sustainable Suppliers
Whether your small local business is a brick-and-mortar shop or an e-commerce store, you will still need to provide sufficient packaging for the products you’re selling. Usually, most business owners tend to resort to single-use or non-biodegradable plastic for their packaging, but those are not helpful to the environment.
Fortunately, there are packaging suppliers that use sustainable materials to create their products. Sustainable materials can include recycled plastics, compostable plant-based packaging, or organic corrugated boxes. In fact, you can even get custom-made corrugated cardboard boxes at wholesale prices if you know where to look.
There are so many sustainable initiatives that aim to help small business owners like you sell products to customers that aren’t at the expense of the environment. The eco-friendly alternatives may be more expensive compared to single-use plastics, but it’s for a worthwhile cause: stopping climate change.
2. Maximize Innovative Software Solutions in Your Day-to-day Operations
In a typical brick-and-mortar setup, businesses keep all their files in one place. Their documents could either be printed and stored in multiple cabinets, or they could be using hard drive units that contain their soft copies. There are also cases when business owners prefer to use both methods just to be safe.
Although in hindsight, there may be nothing wrong with these data storage methods because they have been used for decades. But what these methods fail to consider is that they consume a lot of space, both physically and digitally. And they can also waste a lot of resources in the process.
You see, by storing printed documents in large cabinets, you’re consuming space in your workplace that can otherwise be used for other purposes. The same can be said for data storage units in the form of hard drives, only they could cost more because of the additional expenses of maintenance.
However, if you were to use cloud-based software for your operational processes, not only will you save time, money, and space, but you can also lessen the harmful effects of your business activities on the environment. This way, you won’t have to consume energy to keep your hardware running and you won’t need to waste paper as well as ink to print all your documents for safekeeping.
3. Ensure the Efficiency of Your Utilities in the Workplace
So much water and energy are wasted because of inefficient fixtures around the workplace. Most business owners aren’t even aware that they’re wasting valuable resources by sticking with inefficient fixtures just because they are more convenient. At this point, ignorance is no longer bliss.
If you think that your workplace is running on outdated and inefficient fixtures, it is your duty as the business owner to make sure that everything is made efficient. You can start by checking all your taps and toilets to see if you’re using water-efficient faucets and low-flow models.
You can also replace all fluorescent bulbs with LED because the latter option lasts longer, shines brighter, and is friendlier on the environment compared to the former option. Plus, LED bulbs don’t contain mercury, which means that they won’t pose a threat to you and your employees’ safety.
There are so many other ways that your small local business can do its part for the environment. But it can be good for you to start with these changes so that you won’t be overwhelmed by the sheer impact of human activity on the planet. You can also read up on sustainability to discover how you can be a better entrepreneur without harming the environment.