“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead – Anthropologist
Social Responsibility Topics: Eco Apps, Green Team, Reduce, Re-use & Re-cycle, Energy Star, Green Energy & Message, Plastic Bags, Plants, Volunteer, Donation.
US Climate Alliance is a bipartisan coalition of 22 states that have pledged to uphold the Paris Climate Agreement regardless what the White House does.
Those states make up 1/2 of the country’s population, as well as 1/2 of the U.S. GDP. People aren’t waiting to act and aren’t taking no for an answer.
So on this Earth Day, April 22, a modification of JFK’s famous quote is in order: “Ask not what your Planet can do for you; Ask what you can do for your Planet”.
Startup/Small Business Owners can do plenty for the planet – especially since they make up 99% of all business in this country and employ more than 1/2 of all workers.
#1. Download Eco-Friendly Apps
There are plenty of Mobile Apps out there that can help your business decrease its carbon footprint, & junk mail to some that can make virtual work or meetings possible. For Earth Day, have a meeting where your team can share all of their favorite Green Apps and then encourage everyone to download their favorites.
#2. Create a “Green Team” of Employees
A good way to get your employees involved would be to create a specific team dedicated to making the workplace more energy efficient. Host an Earth Day meeting where you ask for volunteers and then allow the team to make periodic suggestions to you for Eco improvements to make around the office.
#3. Reduce, Re-use & Re-cycle (+Bi-Cycle)
Collect recycle printer paper, printer toner cartridges, batteries, etc. While going paperless in your business is both probably unrealistic & unwise, what is realistic is using recycled paper, which requires less bleach and produces less methane. You can also cut down on waste by providing employees with “washable” plates and encouraging them to bring their own mugs & water bottles to work. Single-use plastic water bottles be gone !!!
#4. Encourage Alternative Transportation.
We can also join the fight to clean up the environment by giving employees incentives to commute and/or work in ways other than by driving alone to the office: a) encourage Car-Pooling, b) create Bike-friendly spaces at work & c) offer Work-at-Home options
#5. Procure Green products.
A great way to be more environmentally friendly is to buy “green” in your business. Source materials & services that are local & sustainable. Green procurement reduces waste, lowers greenhouse emissions, & conserves energy. Look specifically for products that: a) are sustainably manufactured, b) do not contain toxic materials & c) are made from renewable materials and/or otherwise can be recycled.
#6. Buy Energy Star© products.
According to EnergyStar.gov, Energy Star is an EPA designation that means your products (printers, etc.) “are independently certified to save energy without sacrificing features or functionality. Saving energy helps prevent climate change. Look for the ENERGY STAR label to save money on your energy bills + help protect our environment.”
#7. Use Green Energy.
It is estimated that at least 1/2 of all small businesses are located in areas that offer the option to buy energy from Renewable sources like solar & wind. Your local energy company can let you know if they offer such green alternatives.
#8. Stop using Plastic Bags.
We all know that Plastics are a problem, because they never deteriorate. USA uses about 500 billion single use plastic bags a year and they last for 1,000 years. The good news is that hundreds of municipalities and two states (California & Hawaii) have already banned single-use plastic bags. Fifteen (15)countries have also banned plastic bags. Small businesses can join the fight by offering paper alternatives to plastic and encouraging customers to bring their own bags.
#9. Add more Plants to your Office
You can also simply add some Potted plants (not Pot plants) around your workspace. Many of these plants can improve indoor air quality and provide a number of other benefits. So use Earth Day as an opportunity to invite your whole team to donate & take care of – their favorite plants.
#10. Volunteer with a Local Enviro Group
There are many Environmental non-profits around the country that are likely to organize their own clean-up & greening efforts around Earth Day. You and your team could volunteer to support their mission on the holiday to get involved and network with other community members.
#11. Send a Green Message on Social Media
Engaging Customers in your environmental efforts can be a great way to involve more people in the Earth Day fun. You can share your company’s Enviro initiative and offer an easy suggestions for your followers to get involved in their own way. This will also enhance your company’s image.
#12. Make a Donation to Enviro Groups
You could also contribute to Environmental causes financially. Give your employees an opportunity to contribute throughout the day and then make a major contribution to your environmental organization of choice at the end of the day.
Conclusion: Be discouraged by Climate Change, but know too, that one person and one small business – can make a difference.
from USA Today & Small Biz Trends 18 Apr 19 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz
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