With consumers and companies alike doing their bit. No matter how hard we try... plastic seeps through many facets of our lives both personally and professionally and the fight continues.
Whether you are running your business from home or your other physical premises no doubt you have been 'de-plasticizing' your domain. But is there more that you can do you in your business to make it greener? The answer is yes. There's plenty of green activity you can do to help reduce your impact on the environment. From reviewing energy efficiency, using sustainable materials, how you eliminate waste and using green equipment, products and services.
Here are some changes to think about:
Are your business cards and stationery printed on recycled paper? Does the company you use have ethical links? We all know that France loves paper work. Applying for titre de sejours/nationality is a sure sign of their love of paper. Where possible can you receive statements online? Many Banks offer a paper free element to their services, Orange the telephone provider does. When using paper in your business – recycle print outs – make notepads. If you have to print, print 2 to a page and then flip it over. Create documents and email wherever possible. Make use of digital services such as Dropbox.
Which leads us on to ink cartridges. What do you do with yours? Do you give them to a local organisation to recycle? There are many charities that take them. Ask about or research online local collection schemes.
When looking to replace computers, laptops, mobile phones look for reconditioned appliances and give yours up for reconditioning at the same time. Many retailers now offer programmes to recycle back in old machinery – so as to avoid landfill. For example accredited schemes such as Les Ateliers du Bocage partners of Emmaus will take older appliances and refurbish them.
Other activities to consider in your business:
- Think cloud computing
- Do more digitally or online
- Conduct and energy audit – are your appliances on all of the time or do you switch them off. Are you using efficient bulbs for lighting. Are you using efficient appliances. Are you powering down at the end of the day.
- Use rechargeable batteries
- Buy recycled paper and stationery items
- Only print essentials
- Are your supplies/suppliers green? Could your packaging be more sustainable?
- Recycle your office furniture – offices don't have to be swanky. Some of the best office space can be created on a budget and in a reclaimed fashion.
- Learn about green and eco friendly steps that are going on in your town/department. Talk to other businesses, what are they doing?
This article first appeared in the etcetera magazine https://www.etceteraonline.org/pdf/feb-2019.pdf