It’s World Earth Day on April 22nd. This annual event is designed to raise awareness of the need to look after our planet. To mark the occasion, the Business Optimizer team looks at some of the small changes your small business can make to help our planet on World Earth Day.
The first World Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. Today, some 53 years later, we need to harness the enthusiasm to protect our planet more than ever.
You can find resources on the World Earth Day website with ideas about how to mark the occasion, including quizzes and Earth Day information packs and toolkits.
Here’s some ideas on small changes you can make to help get you started.
If you haven’t already, switch out your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs. You’ll save electricity and money.
In the USA, more than 50 billion plastic water bottles are disposed of annually, with the problematic plastic waste often making its way into our waterways and, from there, the food chain. Provide water filters in the office and give staff their own branded water bottles, so they can conveniently sip tap water and save on plastic waste.
Provide recycling stations around your office. Collect hard-to recycle materials, like printer cartridges, batteries or small electrical equipment, to send to appropriate recycling facilities.
Have a regular schedule for changing your HVAC filters. If you leave them clogged and dirty, your AC has to work harder than it needs to, so changing them regularly helps save energy.
Even lowering the thermostat by one degree Celsius can have a significant effect on your energy usage – and bills.
In a typical US household, HVAC accounts for nearly half of your energy consumption. Turn it off whenever possible to see a dramatic decrease in energy use. Use a programmable thermostat, so you aren’t cooling or heating when rooms aren’t in use. Opt for ceiling fans for cooling instead. Or invest in your building. External breathable façades can help to reduce heat during summer months, enabling air flow between the building façade and the insulation. Adding trees and fountains to the adjacent environments can also help to lower temperatures.
Unplug chargers when not in use. Make sure that computers are completely shutdown and turned off at the end of the day. Don’t leave other devices, such as smart screens or printers, on standby when not in use.
There are many alternatives to plastic in the office too. Some simple swaps include opting for non-plastic sticky tape, refillable pens, and paper with recycled content. Discover more ideas elsewhere on our blog.
Opting for paper and sustainable packaging for your products does more than help to reduce problematic waste. It clearly communicates your brand values to your customers and, as such, can be a source of competitive advantage. Plus, you have the opportunity to lead by example and encourage other brands to do the same.
Build your partnerships, supply chain and source your products from companies that prioritize sustainability. For example, the Navigator Paper Company was recently awarded a top ESG honor.
Work with a partner or use your own land where possible to action carbon offsetting by planting trees.
Conduct an energy audit to identify efficiency improvements. Responsibly replace equipment with more energy efficient options, where possible (assuming the carbon math adds up!).
Ask for volunteers to be green leaders or eco ambassadors in the office. They can help to raise awareness about initiatives and encourage participation. Plus, they can help to collect new ideas about how your business can become more eco conscious and work more sustainably.
Discover more ideas about sustainability on our blog: