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Sustainable Small Business

Now more than ever it is important that your business aligns itself with the values of your customers. Individuals are becoming more and more concerned with the influence of modern life on our planet, and are seeking to associate with businesses that demonstrate a genuine desire to make the world a better place. It is essential that you consider the environmental impact of day-to-day operations at your business. At the end of the day, you want to be able to say that your business is making a positive impact in your local community and on the earth itself. Follow these simple steps to ensure that your business is cultivating a culture of sustainability for future generations.


Keep It Local. From supplies to repairs, partner with local companies for all of your business needs. This includes food and produce for restaurants. Working with local businesses is not only great for the local economy, but for the environment as well. It ensures that less time is spent on the road when delivering supplies to your business. Keeping your partnerships local ensures that you can confidently state that you are aware of where your supplies come from, how they are procured, and that ethical practices are being used. Research potential suppliers and stick to companies that also make decisions with the environment in mind.


Embrace Change. Change is an essential part of life, and small businesses have to adapt to keep up with an ever-evolving market. That is why it is important to stay current, not only in your industry, but with the latest trends and technologies to ensure that your business remains sustainable. Stay updated on what other businesses in your community are doing for the environment, and adapt your practices accordingly. Always be aware of how each action you take as a business affects the world around you, and seek to be a leader and an inspiration for what a sustainable business looks like.


Overhaul Your Break Room. A lot of the waste produced both in home and at the office comes from food and beverage packaging. There are small, but meaningful things that your business and employees can do to decrease food waste. Make sure your business offers employees plenty of opportunities to recycle aluminum cans and plastic. Encourage your employees to bring their own mugs, cups, and utensils to eliminate the need for plastic and styrofoam. Provide reusable cutlery and tableware rather than paper plates. Avoid appliances that produce waste, such as coffee makers that take single-use plastic pods, and opt for a coffeemaker with a reusable filter system.


Recycle. Don’t limit your recycling to just the break room. Recycle old electronics, such as computers, phones, and printers rather than discarding them. Some electronic retailers and manufacturers have programs for trading in old electronics. Just be sure to wipe your electronics of all sensitive information before recycling. Make sure that your business provides plenty of receptacles for recycling for both employees and customers. Recycling will also cut back on your waste management fees and save your business money.


What actions are you taking to ensure the positive impact of your business on the earth? If you haven’t asked yourself that question before, then now is the perfect time. Every little bit matters, and your decisions have the potential to generate substantial change.