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Small Businesses Go Green to Save Green

By: Joshua Unseth-- 2010-08-02 6:00 am --

Reducing your carbon footprint can save your small business money in a number of different days. The carbon footprint of your small business is measured in the amount of carbon dioxide it emits in its usual course of business. With the increased public awareness of the effects of greenhouse gases, your small business can not only save money through the application of green technologies, but you can also reap the benefits of advertising that your business is eco-friendly.

Savvy consumers know that they can purchase their electricity from companies that are inherently eco-friendly such as those that utilize wind turbines or solar power or those that “buy back” their carbon usage through planting trees. These consumers will also choose your business over your competition if you can show the same concern for the environment.

The low-hanging fruit on the carbon footprint tree are the obvious things. According to the US Department of Energy, new lighting technologies can reduce lighting energy consumption by 50% to 75%. Replace fluorescent lights with either compact fluorescent bulbs or fluorescent tubes to maximize savings. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are tremendously efficient, long lasting, and emit a high quality of light.

Trade in your old electronics for new, energy efficient appliances. Many appliances qualify for an energy rebate at tax time. If you have a kitchen for employee use, consider purchasing a new refrigerator and microwave oven. Turn computers and lights off before leaving for the day. Set your computers for a short “sleep-cycle”. A computer will automatically go to sleep after a set amount of time. Set this time to the lowest setting, as the computer is more energy efficient when it is in sleep mode. Paint the walls a light color. Not only will it brighten the space and your mood, it requires less energy to maintain the temperature of light walls than dark. Set the thermostats at 72 degrees in the summer to save on cooling costs and reset them to 68 degrees in the winter to cut heating costs.

Does your business print marketing materials such as sales flyers, product leaflets, or newsletters? Consider going paperless. Not only will you save money on your marketing budget, but also you will be able to keep your materials fresh by simply updating your web site. In today’s Internet-based society, your customers will appreciate having all of your information at their fingertips, and they will appreciate your efforts to reduce your carbon footprint.