Sunday, April 22, 2018

Earth Day ~ What Small Business can Do to Make a Difference

Earth Day - What Small Business can do to Make a Difference

April 22nd is Earth Day!
What began 22 years ago as a protest against the negative environmental impacts of our nation’s industrial development has now morphed into a global movement to save our planet.

According to the official Earth Day site*, over “1 billion people in 192 countries now take part in what is the largest civic-focused day of action in the world. It is a day of political action and civic participation. People march, sign petitions, meet with their elected officials, plant trees, clean up their towns and roads”.

Businesses and governments also pledge to make efforts to help. 

And if you own a Small Business, you can also take steps to Make a Difference!

As Small Business Owners, we are increasingly focusing on our communities and our environment. We recognize the impact that even small changes can make, especially when we all band together. 

And “going green” may even help improve our image and our business by appealing to environmentally conscientious consumers! 

But sometimes we just don’t know where to start!

A great first step is to understand what changes we can make in our daily business operations to help.

Small Businesses can:

Control Energy Use
We can start by tracking our energy and water use. This information will help find areas of waste and develop a plan to help you improve. And there are apps to help with that. Contact your local utility companies to find out more. We can also make it company policy to turn off or “hibernate” electronics and shut off lights when not in use.

Use Environmentally Friendly Products
Switching to laptops and other small electronic devices over desk tops is a start. We can also use rechargeable batteries, recycle paper, and try to reuse packaging material like boxes and folders whenever possible. Donating or recycling our old electronics is good practice.

Allow Remote Working 
If it is at all possible, giving your employees the flexibility to work from home, at least periodically, is a great way to cut down on the environmental impact of driving, or even using public transportation, to work. As an added benefit, It is also a welcome perk that can help you attract quality hires to your small business. Find out more in “4 Reasons Why Job Seekers will want to Work for Your Small Business!”.

Shop Local
Supporting other local, small businesses can also help our environment. Buying your supplies from local merchants helps cut down on fuel used in delivery. The same goes for buying your supplies locally. Even outsourcing or contracting work to local companies can help.

What You and Your Small Business can do to Help Our Planet!

But to really have an impact, it is important that you and your small business make your efforts to “Go Green” a part of the way you do business everyday!

And while it is certainly important that our Small Businesses do what they can to make a difference when it comes to helping our environment, it is also important that we, as consumers, do our part.

And one significant way we can help is to also Shop Local!

Shopping local is good for our communities and our environment!

When we Shop Local, we have the opportunity to make a huge impact on our environment and in our community. It is also a great way to promote Small Business.

Shopping Local uses less fuel. 
The markets and shops we visit are right in our own neighborhood. The fuel used by trucks that carry the goods from the local farmer or manufacturer is also lessened. When we buy local, we conserve that energy.

Local goods use less packaging. 
Whether it is the produce from a local farmer’s market or some other good from a neighborhood store, the packaging is often minimal when compared to nationally sold goods.

Shopping Local helps our Community.  
By frequenting local merchants, we become active and important members of our neighborhoods. We become acquainted with the owners of those businesses and they get to know us. This creates a real sense of “community” and connection.

Shopping local keeps our money “in town”. 
Money we spend at a local storefront or farmer’s market is a true reinvestment in our community. In this way we can have a real economic impact in helping support and grow local business”.

Learn more about how Shopping “Small” pairs perfectly with Earth Day in “Save Our Environment ~ Shop Local!”.

Protecting and Improving our environment needs to be a group effort. 

We must recognize that we are all in this together. Our government, our businesses, and our people need to all do our part to save our planet and our resources.

We can Do it Together!

Authored by   

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