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How to Make Your Small Business Greener: Small Ways that Make a Big Difference

When you own a business, you’ve got a long list of things to think about. On that list is: “how can I make my small business greener?” There’s a lot of small ways that make a big difference!

Why Make Your Small Business Greener?

Chances are if you’re looking at this article, you already have an idea of why you want to make your small business greener. Maybe you’ve got settled into owning your business, and now you want to take on a new initiative—making your business eco-friendly! There are many reasons why you might want to go greener:

  • For the environment. Well, this is an obvious one! If you care for the environment, it makes sense that you would want to make your business reflect that. Every change you make impacts the world.
  • Efficiency. Green is not only good for the environment—it can be good for business, too! Going green can help reduce your costs and even help with efficiency.
  • Employee Satisfaction. Going green with your small business improves employee satisfaction. Knowing their work is doing something to help the environment creates a feeling of having more meaningful work.
  • Monetary Benefits. Last but not least: when your business goes green, you can actually get some monetary benefits for making an effort.

How to Make Your Small Business Greener?

Now that we’ve got the why’s out of the way—the next question is how? What can you do in order to start making some swaps? There are many places you can make changes—from small swaps to major changes.

Go Remote

There’s an implementation of this you can do even if you can’t go fully remote! Not having an office space reduces your environmental footprint. If you can’t go fully remote, think about creating an environmental incentive. If your employees leave their car at home and bike or carpool to work, they can get incentivized for it! It doesn’t have to be anything large—a small incentive will do.

Go Paperless

As often as you can, go paperless. If you can replace it with an electronic copy, do so! This could count for receipts, for communication, for brainstorming, for inventory, and so much more. Going as paperless as possible is a great opportunity to be kinder to the earth and make your small business greener.


Place recycling bins around if you aren’t going fully remote. Encourage your employees to recycle. If you own a storefront, allow your customers to recycle—especially if you sell goods with recyclable parts. Reuse what you can in your business to be greener, and make sure to treat your waste as you can. If you own a small restaurant, look into composting! This change is simple for any to make—it won’t shake up your business’s bottom line, but it will make a difference.

Go LED or All Natural

Lights aren’t something that always comes top of mind. However, if you own a business, chances are you have to light it! Think about the way you are using that energy. Can you make the switch to LED? It may cost a bit more at the beginning to install all LED lights, but they’re more cost-efficient in the long run and more energy-efficient as well!

Another alternative is using as much natural light as possible. Do you have large windows? Use that instead of your lights on a sunny day! Thinking about small changes like this is a great way to start on the path of making your small business greener.

Get an Environmental Audit

One way to know exactly where you may be needing to make some changes is to get an environmental audit. In this, you’ll have an expert come in. They’ll take a look at all aspects of your business and let you know if you’re compliant or not and where you can make changes. This obviously costs some money, but it can be worth it—especially if you aren’t compliant in areas and think you are!

Rethink Your Products

This, perhaps, is one of the biggest challenges. If you sell material items (not software or cloud-based goods), you may need to rethink them. For example, are your products helping the environment or hurting it? If your answer isn’t sure, or if it’s hurting—what steps can you make to change that?

Even if your product is fine, what about your shipping process? Do you ship in plastic? Can you make a switch to something more environmentally friendly?

And even further, what about your packaging? Same questions there. You don’t have to completely reinvent what you are making and selling to become a bit greener.

Final Thoughts

It can seem intimidating to start making your small business greener. It’s definitely a change that you should work towards—it can’t happen overnight! With the right prioritization and steps in the right direction, you’ll be well on your way.

Further reading:

Latest tips and advice for green businesses

Our fresh list of 100+ green business ideas

Check out our resources library.

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