Earth Day is a great annual reminder of how we can all live more sustainably throughout the year.
For many small businesses and nonprofits, going green might feel daunting and costly — but who says that having a sustainability platform should be reserved to only larger corporations?
Being a good corporate citizen is really important to us, and we here at Constant Contact believe that every small business has the power to make easy everyday choices to be more sustainable.
— Reed Bundy (@reedbundy) September 10, 2014
To get you started, we reached out to a few members of our employee-led Green Team to provide some of their favorite green tips for small businesses and nonprofits.
Read through these tips and share your own advice for running a green business.
Bag Those Plastic Bags
Amanda from our engineering team: “Encourage customers to bring their own shopping bags, or even ask if they can put items in bags their customers already have!”
Let’s be honest, how often do we need one more bag cluttering up space under our kitchen sink? Over the past few years, customers have become increasingly understanding (and appreciative) of stores that encourage folks to bring their own bags. Not only is it an easy way to be green, but it’ll save your business money not having to buy as many disposable shopping bags.
Brian from our finance team: “Visit a community garden and talk to others about how they are positively impacting the planet outside of Earth Week. Earth should be celebrated all year long!”
Sometimes the best way to go green is to simply learn by doing. Our employees regularly volunteer at local farms (including one of our local customers: Waltham Fields Community Farm) and they always come back with great advice on organic farming, locally-sourced foods, and living more sustainably. Chances are your town or city has a community garden with members that are more than willing to share their expertise.
Use Pedal Power!
Brian from our finance team (again!): “Bike to work. Nothing helps offset stress more than some quality time outside on two wheels. Biking helps bring your community together too, and will definitely send a positive message to customers. Maybe they’ll even start biking to work too!”
All summer long, dozens of our employees participate in Bike Fridays (and we have the selfies on Twitter to prove it)
— Reed Bundy (@reedbundy) July 22, 2015
We always find that it brings folks together, and chances are that it will send a strong message to the community that you live and work in if they see you biking to work. And if you can convince your employees to bike to work too, that leaves more parking spaces for your customers (but we hope they bike as well.)
Let There Be (Energy Efficient) Light!
John from our facilities team: “When replacing lightbulbs in your store or shop, consider using LED bulbs that have a long life, are energy efficient, and are also ecologically friendly. The price has come down and there are now both ‘warm’ and ‘cool’ white colors to choose from.”
John should know a thing or two about lightbulbs. He and his team have worked hard to shrink our footprint in all of our offices. From motion-sensing, energy-efficient lights to low-flow plumbing, we’ve made our office space more sustainable because it is good for the earth and good for our bottom line. Changing a few lightbulbs and turning off electronics before leaving each night are easy steps that can go a long way, and even allow you to reinvest some money back into your business.
Put Away That Paper
And finally, I love walking into a small business and seeing a Constant Contact newsletter signup sheet at the counter — not just because I love our customers (we all do… we’re kind of obsessed), but also because it means you’re likely not sending paper mailings to your customers. It might seem like a small thing, but replacing paper mailings with email newsletters saves trees and prevents a lot of waste.
You can find more tips on becoming a paperless business here.
Make Earth Day every day at your office.
Earth Day will come and go, but all of the above suggestions from our employees can be done every day of the year, and they’re all really quite easy to implement. So consider April 22 as a jumping-off point for your greener, leaner small business or nonprofit, and use the above tips to make every day of this year Earth Day.
Have any green tips we didn’t cover? Let us know what we missed.