Six Ways to Make Your Small Business More Green

Install LED lighting

There are some really good reasons to switch to LED: Most Light Emitting Diode(LED) bulbs are more efficient than Compact Florescent(CFL).  LEDs can often use as little as 6w-8w compared to the CFL’s 11w-15w.  They also last much longer and produce less waste.  A typical LED bulb will last 50000 hours, compared to CFL bulbs which last about 8000 hours.  That means you’re throwing out 6 times more CFL bulbs.  CFL bulbs also contain mercury which is highly toxic to human health and the environment.  We really don’t want it seeping into our lakes and rivers.

 

Turn off all of your lights; even if you’ll only be out of the room a few minutes.

It’s a myth that turning off and on the light wastes electricity each time.  When your lights are on they use power and when they’re off they don’t.  Consider keeping your bathroom lights off by default, and only use lights in your work areas where people need them at the time.

 

Turn off computers when they aren’t being used

Leaving your computer on overnight, or even over breaks can add up to a lot of wasted energy.  Sleep mode is better than running at full power, but using the Shut Down option and turning off its power bar will cause it to use no energy at all.  If you need to purchase a new computer, consider buying a laptop or even a tablet instead of a desktop.

 

Purchase green energy

It’s easier than ever to purchase green energy for your home or business.  It’s important to note is that this doesn’t mean you need to install a solar array on your roof or a giant windmill on your lawn.  There are now programs like Bullfrog Power who will sell you green energy that comes from a more efficient source.  Bullfrog Power uses the same grid as everyone else, which means you will receive electricity from clean and not-so-clean sources, but you will receive credit for being green energy powered.  This is because it would not be environmentally friendly to install a separate infrastructure for only green energy, and it’s impossible to separate the electrons from different sources.  Purchasing green energy is even more green than installing your own renewable energy generators because larger projects are more efficient.  Bullfrog Power can provide signage so your customers know you’ve made the switch.

 

Run your website on a renewable energy powered server

Your website has a hidden energy cost.  The server that hosts your site is always on, and uses energy to display it to visitors.  Most website hosting services don’t use green energy to run their servers, so you might need to seek one out.  Most green hosting services give you a way to let your clients know your website is hosted on a green energy server like a badge or banner for your website’s footer.

 

Plant trees

Although it’s not as good as preventing CO2 emissions altogether, planting trees can help offset your CO2 emissions.   Each tree that grows to full size can absorb as much as 1 ton of CO2 in it’s first 40 years.  Check out our article on tree planting here: How Planting Trees Can Help Fight Climate Change.