Top Green Business Practices to Start in 2016

Top Green Business Practices to Start in 2016

The health of your business isn’t only numbers, profits, and a higher demand; just like green business isn’t an annual park clean-up, organic T-shirts for the company picnic softball game, or sending nominal donations to a charity once in awhile. This might sound a bit surprising, but the health of your business and green business practices are much more intertwined with each other than many people think. In today’s world, corporate responsibility and ethical or sustainable practices can be easily greenwashed—or as the saying goes, “talking the talk, not walking the walk.” To sustain a healthy business, it’s crucial for your internal and external growth as a company to closely examine your own methods and commitment to being eco-friendly, simply because it says a lot more about your effectiveness and your longevity as a business, even if you don’t realize it at first.

At Modernize, we’re firm believers that implementing eco-friendly business practices can go a long way in fortifying your foundation from the inside out, to make you a more mindful, thoughtful, and responsible brand that people will love. So with this in mind, here are the top green business practices that you can start in 2016.

Be Energy-Efficient

Making the switch to being energy efficient is a relatively small and simple task that can make big changes. The good news is that there are also many different ways to implement this into your business so that you can find what choice suits your needs best. Electric power plants are the biggest source of pollutants, greenhouse gases, and dangerous toxins that threaten our own personal health. Reduce your use of fossil fuels by switching to Energy Star appliances (and donating your old ones or safely recycling them), turn things to “off” as often as possible, identify power-saving functions on devices, and turn everything off at night. Take it a step further by checking your building’s insulation, cracks or leaks, and switching to LED lights. 

Purchase Eco-Friendly Paper Products

Most people are familiar with the fact that countless numbers of trees are taken down legally and illegally every year to produce our everyday paper products—many of which you find and use often while at work. What we don’t hear about is that virgin timber paper production is a leading cause of water pollution and the third highest industrial contributor of greenhouse gases. Yikes.

To avoid doing any more harm, you can start by setting your printer’s preferences to using both sides of the paper. And when you need to purchase more paper, make sure to buy the option with as much post-consumer recycled material as possible. Look out for paper products that indicate they are free of chlorine bleach and mercury, and are certified as sustainably harvested by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Reduce Waste and Recycle

Producing a lot of waste is an indicator of a business’s lack of efficiency. It shows carelessness and also points out that your unhealthy business practices that produce excessive waste could be dangerous to the environment and dangerous to your bank account, too.

To start, conduct a waste audit. This will give you insight and an analysis on your waste stream and will also identify where you could recycle more. Regardless of whether or not you conduct the waste audit, you might find it’s pretty obvious where to start cutting back. Overflowing paper bins signal that you and your employees might be wasting paper. Food in the breakroom kitchen or any food in general that seems to go bad often and thrown away can be composted—or if it’s a non-perishable, donated to food banks. Metals, electronic devices, and other items that are tricky to recycle could avoid ending up in the waterways or landfills simply by you being more diligent about where the waste goes. Hopefully this way of thinking will transform and improve the health of your business, your employees, and yourself.

[Editor’s note: For more great no-cost and low-cost tips on saving energy and water, please visit to pick up a copy of Shel Horowitz’s $9.95 ebook, Painless Green: 111 Tips to Help the Environment, Lower Your Carbon Footprint, Cut Your Budget, and Improve Your Quality of Life—With No Negative Impact on Your Lifestyle.

Katherine Oakes enjoys doing professional freelance writing. She is also a certified yoga instructor. In her free time, she enjoys being a vocalist and living in Northern New Jersey. 

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