Small Ways to Make Your Business Greener

Many small businesses want to be green-friendly but either don’t understand what they are currently doing or struggle with how to get started in a way that benefits the business without disrupting workflow. A first step in the process is to determine your current "state of green" by looking across your company’s energy use, recycling practices, employee commuting and reuse and reduce strategies. Then find easy-to-implement ways to make your current practices more environmentally friendly.

Here are a few green practices for you to consider:

1. Energy. Consider alternative energy sources; regulate building temperature; turn off lights and PCs when not in use; and consider alternative work schedules, such as one day per week at home or four-day work weeks.

2. Recycling. Identify the products in use at your company that can be recycled, such as batteries, bottles and cans, cafeteria waste, and paper products.

3. Commuting. Create programs that make it easy for your employees to seek alternate transportation, such as biking, busing, carpooling, walking, and telecommuting.

4. Reuse/Reduce. Collect and reuse everyday items such as coffee grounds (for garden compost).

Alter urinals so they operate without water. Print only what you need. Provide reusable cups and filtered tap water to discourage bottled water consumption.

Patty Calkins Vice-President for Environment, Health, and Safety Xerox Norwalk, Conn.