One of the oddest ideas in our culture is that businesses and environmental awareness must be at odds. But if you think about it, it's really the exact opposite. A business, to be successful, must keep its operating costs below its income. That means, essentially, conservation, which is good for the environment. Therefore, what's good for your business, is good for the environment.
Look at it this way. Let's say you're creating document to distribute to clients. You print off eight copies of the first draft and distribute them to employees for their input and opinion. Those eight employees make their suggestions, and you incorporate them into the document. You print off another eight copies, and redistribute them. You get them back, incorporate other suggestions, then start the final draft. While you're trying to get the final draft right, you notice some glaring errors. So you fix them, and run it off again. But then you find some errors that you didn't see the first time, so you reprint the entire run. Let's say this happens a third, and fourth time, before you get it right. You have just wasted reams of paper, thrown several ink cartridges into a landfill, and cost your company loads of money.
Let's take a look at some of the things you could have done to save time, money, and the environment:
• Conserve Paper — Did you really need to make actual copies of the document to distribute to those original eight people? Not in this day and age. You could just as easily have emailed it, and received the suggestions by email as well. Using paperless forms of communication, such as email or texts, can save your company hundreds of dollars a year. All proofing for the document could have been done electronically, as well. Committing a document to paper should be the final step of the process. Even then, you should consider alternative ways of disseminating the information. Could it have been distributed as a PowerPoint presentation? Or a Flash-based movie?
• Conserve Ink — When you conserve paper, you're automatically conserving ink. And ink is expensive. Now, we can argue whether ink ought to be as expensive as it has become, but it's actually sort of a blessing. The less ink you use, the less money you'll spend…and the fewer cartridges will wind up in a landfill.
Here are some other ways you can save money, while saving the environment:
• Use Recycled And Remanufactured Products — Remanufactured products are usually cheaper than new ones, and just as good. This is true for office equipment (such as copiers, printers, cell phones, and computers) as well as some consumables, such as ink and toner cartridges.
• Create an In-House Recycling Program — Set out special bins or barrels for office paper, cans, and plastics. This will help reduce the amount of trash you'll have to pay for. And some products, such as aluminum cans, can actually earn you money.
• Recycle Office Equipment — We talked about buying recycled office equipment, but you can also sell used equipment. Try websites such as Craigslist, or eBay. Or consider donating them to a worthy charity.
• Recycle Ink and Toner Cartridges — Some office supply stores will refill ink cartridges for a fraction of what you'd pay for a new one. Even if you don't have them refilled, send them back to the manufacturer or other recycling house.
To learn more about how you can slash your spending, save the Earth, and put more money in your bank account,