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April 08, 2015

How to green your small business

With Earth Day coming up, here are five tips to make your small business more eco-friendly

Small Business Sustainability
02272015_Ecoviate Ecoviate/for PhillyVoice

The Ecoviate app gives users rewards and discounts for living an eco­friendly life.

With Earth Day in just a few weeks, April 22, here are five tips for making your small business more sustainable, while also saving some green.

1. Install heat and motion detection lighting systems:

In the U.S. alone, lighting consumes 8 percent of all energy and 22 percent of electricity, representing $40 billion a year in energy costs, according to research by the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC.)

Significant energy and money saving as high as 50 percent can be made by installing heat and motion detection lighting systems.

2. Change all of your light bulbs to energy efficient alternatives:

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are many lighting options in stores that will save you energy and money. 

View this Energy 101 video to explore the different lighting options available to consumers

3. Recycle:

All that office paper can add up pretty quickly, comprising of up to 40 percent of the municipal solid waste stream, according to GreenBiz.

Every ton of paper made from recycled fiber saves approximately 17 trees. Cutting down carbon-absorbing trees contributes to global warming, soil erosion, habitat destruction, and other environmental problems. 

Paper recycling also makes good business sense - company disposal costs can dramatically decrease with the advent of a paper recycling program.

4. Buy marketing materials locally:

Not only will supporting other local small businesses help the local economy and make good with neighbors, it will also minimize the shipping costs both to your business and the environment.

5. Use only non-toxic cleaning products:

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the best cleaning products takes into account performance, price, availability, regulatory requirements and environmental impact. 

Purchasers should examine as many relevant product attributes as possible, recognizing that tradeoffs are inevitable. For example, one product may be made with renewable resources (a desirable characteristic), while another product has a lower VOC content (also a desirable characteristic).