December 30, 2011, 6:00 PM — Greening your business has short-term effects that will save you money, let employees breathe better, and maybe even help land you a few more customers. These tips, sites, and kits can help your business go green for 2012.
1. Set Carbon Footprint Goals
Starting off the new year with a vague eco-friendly resolution usually just leads to business as usual. Set goals for how much you can reasonably reduce your carbon footprint, and then get there by purposefully making changes in the products you buy and the energy you use. This business carbon footprint calculator can help establish your footprint. Going a step further, a business energy audit will lead to utility bill savings.
2. Make Fuel Economy a Priority
Whether you have one company car or a fleet of delivery vehicles, make fuel efficiency a priority. You don't have to buy a hybrid or a diesel car; the Department of Energy displays the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the country in each category on its website. And consider hooking employees up with memberships to by-the-hour car-sharing services such as Zipcar, which offers hybrids.
3. Install a Living Wall
No, a living wall doesn't pulsate with chthonic forces and demand to be fed with brains. It's loaded up with plants that help clean up your indoor air quality, and they don't have to cost a fortune. Home or small office versions can be found here starting at $450.00. If you'd rather not have a wall of plants, look at buying a few more plants to spread around the office to help you and your employees breathe easier. NASA-backed research shows that greenery removes toxic chemicals, including those found within computers and printers, from the air. The most potent air-cleaning plants include the low-maintenance peace lily and English ivy.
4. Think About the Lifecycle Before Buying Tech