Guest Blog from Cloe Matheson
Cloe Matheson is a freelance writer from Dunedin, New Zealand who has tried her best to care for the environment since her first school recycling project. In her free time, Cloe enjoys learning from arts and crafts workshops that promote using recycled materials. Check out more of her work here.
As a young entrepreneur, you are part of the world’s network of business owners and CEOs that represent the commercial and corporate future. This is no small responsibility! In an age that grows ever more aware of the harmful effects of industrial activity on the environment and humanity’s future, you have the potential to help herald global ‘green living.’
But just how do you ensure that your entrepreneurial activities are driven by ecologically-friendly practices and principles? Simply announcing your green ethos is not enough. You must prove to customers and potential investors that you can practice what you preach. To this end, we’ve put together some measurable and easy-to-implement tips for how you can demonstrate your environmental consciousness.
Join the Recycling Crew
The zone of entrepreneurial activities is over-run with packaging and waste. Whether you’re looking to open a food joint or produce a new tool or toy, you can bet that your level of waste will be monumental if you don’t make a concerted effort to curb it. Get rid of paper packaging, invest in recycled goods and investigate eco-friendly options for producing or offering your given product or service.
And if you’re looking for an entrepreneurial way to solve other business’ waste issues, you might consider finding a solution to solving waste yourself. Many entrepreneurs have cultivated successful businesses by collecting waste food and other recyclable products from cafes and restaurants and turning them into useful goods (such as animal feed) to sell on to customers.
Harness Natural Energy
Entrepreneurial HQs can be real energy drainers – so before you purchase or move in to a new working space, explore the solar options available. From lighting to heating and plumbing, solar power solutions are becoming ever more affordable and will save you significant capital in the long-term.
If certain electricity-powered appliances or pieces of machinery are vital to the success of your business, then look for options with the best energy-star ratings. And remember to shut down your machines and turn off the house lights at the end of each working day – you’ll help save money and the environment at the same time.
Delve into the Digital
Switching to electronic archiving, messaging and billing is easy in today’s digitally-savvy society and will help your business function more efficiently without as much physical storage space. Social media, as you already know, is an invaluable tool you can use to detail your latest eco-friendly initiatives and encourage your peers!
Check Your Personal Environmental Footprint
Use reusable bags, cups and cutlery as much as possible when shopping or eating out. Additionally, you might consider not splurging on a work vehicle. It’s become much less of a status symbol to have your name printed on the side of a car, so be carbon-friendly instead and travel via bus or train. If you do invest in a business vehicle, make sure you can use it for carpooling.
Remember Little Steps Count
Sometimes making a bunch of small changes can have the greatest holistic effect on greenifying your business. Survey your utilised expenses and resources and see what easy switches you can make to reduce your environmental mark. A great place to start is by replacing your chemical-laden cleaning products with eco-friendly counterparts so you don’t pollute water and air.
Get Your Customers Onboard
By encouraging your customers or clientele to get on board with your own environmental goals, you’ll make the goal communal. Showing your concern for reducing waste is also a great way to build up your entrepreneurial reputation (it’s the twenty-first century: people love a woke businessperson!)