8 ideas to make your online business more eco-friendly
The 5th of June is World Environment Day and in the spirit of continuing to adopt more sustainable practices, we’ve put together a list of 8 easy things you can implement in your business to reduce your carbon footprint and be part of the solution.
Our philosophy is to do what you can. It’s not always possible to make big positive changes all at once, so start with the simple stuff and keep adding from there.
We’d love to hear about how you’re including sustainability in your business – so if you have any great tips, get in touch.
Print on both sides of the paper (if you need to print at all)
This tip ‘should’ go without saying. We all understand why using less paper is better for the environment. Fortunately nowadays there’s less need for printing as most of us use online forms but sometimes there is a necessity to print something out. So be savvy, don’t print unless it’s completely necessary, and use both sides of the paper (and use recycled, non bleached paper).
Get refillable printer cartridges
Rather than buying ink cartridges (and then throwing them away after they have finished), you can get refillable ink cartridges and bottles of ink – they will last a lot longer.
With any disposable product, if there’s a refillable version, it’s always going to be more eco-friendly (think water bottles). Most printers will tell you you’re out of ink before you actually need to change the cartridge so not only is this more eco-friendly, it’s better for your finances too.
Invest in a fountain pen
Sure, a pack of biros costs next to nothing but investing in a fountain pen will benefit you and the environment more in the long run. You can refill the cartridge and the ink often comes in a glass bottle. No more single use plastic pens. Plus they’re so much more satisfying to write with, wouldn’t you agree? Maybe try one like this which even has a bamboo outer.
Clear out your digital clutter
Did you know that your emails as well as any files stored in the cloud use a huge amount of energy and contribute to your carbon footprint?
Carrying out some decluttering will help reduce this footprint. Delete any unwanted files from your cloud storage and from your junk and deleted folder in your emails. Unsubscribe to emails you don’t want to receive. Consider storing your files on an external harddrive rather than to cloud storage.
If you want to read more about the ins and outs, here’s a great article.
Switch to airplane mode
When charging your phone, pop it on airplane mode. Not only will it charge faster (because it isn’t updating background apps) – it also uses less energy.
While we’re on the subject of phones and small devices, get yourself a solar powered battery bank (or 2). Just leave it on your windowsill and let the sun do its magic. No need for electricity!
Only take what you need
We all love a freebie, but when you’re at a show or networking event, only take things that are of interest to you – do you really need 99 plastic biros? You know it’ll eventually end up in the bin, as well as give those you took from a skewed view of just how much free material they need to bring with them.
Recycle, Reuse, Repurpose
Take note of any physical products you use and see if they’re recyclable. If not, is there an alternative supplier you could use? The biggest changes we can make are to change the actions of our suppliers.
Reuse anything you can or trade with your friends and colleagues. One person’s trash is another’s treasure after all.
Repurpose where you can. There are some great tips out there on how to repurpose household and office items to make them useful in other ways, from the simple to the adventurous.
#OnlyOneEarth has put together a comprehensive practical guide for sustainability in business that you can download here.
If you have any other tips I’ve missed that you’d like to share, do let me know and I’ll save them for next year’s blog with all your ideas!
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