Top 7 Dumb Mistakes Companies Are Making By Not Going Green

greening your business

1. Assuming putting eco-friendly practices into place will be an expensive endeavor.

This is an old myth that has been floating around for years. There are many practices that a business can put into place that are low cost or even free. Start with the small things first like looking around your office. Are the lights and equipment turned off once everyone has gone home for the evening? Are disposable items such as Styrofoam cups and plates being purchased for one time use and then thrown out in the office break room?  Is your company buying bottled water for employee use? Do you purchase office supplies that can be refilled such as ink and toner for the copy machine?

These are just a few of the things that you can look at within your own company. Choose options for your office that save money on the monthly bills and don’t contribute to excess waste.

2. You’re avoiding even HAVING the conversation about sustainable practices in your business.

Implementing sustainable practices into your businesses is not a fad. It is here to stay. As a matter of fact, it might soon not be an option. Consumers are increasingly becoming more aware about what businesses are doing to protect and conserve natural resources. It is important for businesses to realize that it is no longer okay to put profits over people and the planet. Savvy consumers are expecting businesses to run on a deeper level to start creating a positive change in the world.

3. Your company thinks it is too hard or too time consuming to implement eco-friendly measures.

Implementing any kind of change into business practices will take some time and effort; however it will be beneficial on a number of levels. Many times, sitting down and creating a new game plan with green practices in place will create new efficiencies in the work place. New green efforts don’t necessarily have to be difficult. Start with simple and small changes first and gradually add in new goals each year. Slow and steady wins the race.

4. Your company continues to pay high monthly bills for things such as energy and solid waste management.

This mistake is a big one. There is an assumption that when you have a business you will always have to deal with the high cost of energy usage and the disposal of solid waste. In many businesses, and especially in large ones, these can be two of the largest bills your company is responsible for on a monthly basis. This doesn’t have to be the case. Energy usage can be cut drastically when there are a series of energy saving initiatives put into place. Again, start small with things such as using Energy Star rated electronic products or appliances throughout the business. Solid waste is another monthly bill that you can take control of. Did you know that you can negotiate pieces of your contract with your local waste hauler? By participating in practices such as recycling, food composting, waste diversion tactics and changing your buying habits, you can have a great impact on that tonnage rate you pay monthly to the garbage man. Our landfills will be a little less full as well.

5. Not investing time or money into new energy efficient technologies or advancements.

This is something that will help save you money quickly and over the long haul. There are new software and technology programs that are available which can help track things such as energy usage, water usage, recycling rates and more. Understanding your peak and non- peak usage can help you do a better job at lowering your overall resource consumption.

6. Losing out to your industry competition that is going green.

It is one thing to follow in the footsteps of your competitors for the sake of keeping up with the Jones’. It is quite another to become a leader in your industry with new breakout ideas in sustainability. Customers value companies that are making strides in conserving resources and improving their local communities. Be a leader, not a follower.

7. Your company is not looking to its own employees for ideas in becoming more sustainable.

Your employees are one of your most valuable assets to your company. They are part of everyday activities and can many times see where inefficiencies exist and how to improve them. One small change in a process can make for better efficiency and add to the bottom line.

Tara LaSalla

Tara is the owner of Green Me Locally which was established in 2010 with a mission to bring awareness to the surrounding community about local eco-friendly businesses, events and sustainable living. She is also a business profitability consultant and specializes in helping companies lower their environmental impact, do good things for people and the planet and become more profitable at the same time. Tara helps companies create simple, sustainable solutions and become totally green while still increasing their profits. Her core belief is that we only have one planet, so it is our obligation to start making changes for the sake of our health and the health of future generations. Tara is known for creating easy solutions for post-consumer waste and the conservation of natural resources. Her clients are inspired and empowered to lead the way to a healthier tomorrow. Tara currently resides in St. Petersburg, FL where she is an active community leader in the form of environmental and marine conservation and education. Her work with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Tampa Bay Watch and other local organizations continues to inspire those around her to protect our natural resources. She holds true to one of Mahatma Gandhi's most famous principles: "Be the change you want to see in the world."

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