Living more sustainably is THE thing to do.
For those who have been a bit slow to jump on the “green” bandwagon, be warned, very soon you will feel an irresistible pull to amp up your efforts. On April 22, everyone around the globe will be doing their best to be kinder to our planet in celebration of Earth Day. There is no pressure like global peer pressure.
Most would agree being kind to our planet is a good thing. Many small business owners would love to provide a sustainable working space their employees (and clients) can be proud of -- but cost is always a concern. Fear not entrepreneurs, creating a greener office can be achieved without draining the coffers. By making these few simple, inexpensive changes you can simultaneously be kind to the environment and your bottom line:
1. Slow down on the printing. Help save trees and cut down on waste by requesting employees read emails and share information predominately online. Implement a policy that corporate emails include an auto signature that encourages recipients to avoid printing emails. Use free or inexpensive software like Dropbox or Google Cloud to store or share documents. Instead of a file cabinet, set up files on your desktop.
2. Reuse and/or maximize it. If you have to print a multiple-page document, chose the double-side option or recycle one page documents by flipping them over and printing on the blank side. Provide reusable dishes and a dishwasher to encourage people to slow down the use of disposable dining products.
3. Incentivize use of mass transit and biking to work. Offer the Transit Benefit Fare Program to your workforce; it allows employees to make pre-tax paycheck deductions of up to $125 a month for transit (and employers get a tax deduction for every employee dollar spent). Check out lesstaxingcommute.com for more information. Work out a relationship with a nearby gym to provide showers and a full bathroom perfect for sprucing up for those employees willing to bike to work.
4. Cultivate a green thumb. Improve air quality and beautify the office by buying green plants.
5. Work from home days. Working from home means zero emissions and typically a more productive workforce. I know this girl gets more done when I’m able to roll out of bed and begin work in my pajamas.
Jetta Bates-Vasilatos is founder of Twist Communications and a life stylist with 10+ years of award-winning consumer engagement/strategic planning experience for luxury and global brands like BMW and Coca-Cola. She also serves as an on-air correspondent and writer with a focus on luxury and experiential tourism, lifestyle, sustainability, and personal finance (how to be chic yet savvy). Jetta has appeared on stations such as WCIU-TV, KBS-TV(Korea), ABC-7, CLTV and KBC-TV (Kenya), writes for national print publications such as Essence, Recommend, Ebony and HomeStyle Design and is the host of the Jettasetting segment on WVON radio.
Visit her website jettasetting.com, find real-time tips on her Facebook page, or follow her on Twitter: @jettaset.