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How to Green Your Business

Preserving the environment is not only the right thing to do—it can result in significant cost savings for your business.


  • Step 1: Educate yourself Educate yourself about the local, state, and federal environmental regulations that apply to your business. Failing to follow applicable regulations can lead to costly fines and penalties.
  • Step 2: Evaluate your business Take a look at the waste your business produces, and see how you can reduce it.
  • Step 3: Save paper Save paper. Recycle paper products and encourage employees to archive their work electronically—and not print out every email or document that comes their way.
  • Step 4: Drink smart Instead of supplying cans of soda, install a fountain. Use a water cooler instead of bottled water.
  • TIP: If you provide coffee for your employees, stop providing disposable cups and encourage them to bring in their own mugs.
  • Step 5: Lower the thermostat Lower the thermostat in winter and encourage people to bring in light sweaters to wear in the office.
  • Step 6: Use CFBs Replace your lightbulbs with the more energy efficient compact fluorescent bulbs.
  • Step 7: Get an energy audit Your utility company will provide a free or low-cost energy audit that recommends ways to improve your energy efficiency, which will result in lower energy bills.
  • Step 8: Reduce travel Reduce traveling by using alternatives like teleconferencing.
  • TIP: Cut down on car pollution by letting some employees work from home.
  • Step 9: Buy green Tell your suppliers you’re interested in purchasing equipment and supplies that are recycled, renewable, or refurbished. If possible, only work with companies that are environmentally conscious as well.
  • Step 10: Detoxify Properly dispose of things like copy-machine toner and batteries.
  • Step 11: Recycle old electronics Recycle old electronics like computers and company cell phones by donating them to charitable causes or returning them to manufacturers who can salvage parts.
  • Step 12: Get everyone involved Make your employees part of the process by soliciting suggestions and rewarding employees who make environmental contributions.
  • FACT: General Mills now recycles its oat hulls, a byproduct of making Cheerios. In 2006, the company recycled over 86 percent of its solid waste, earning more than what it had cost to get rid of it.

You Will Need

  • An open mind
  • Creativity

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