You’re a small business. You know the value of grit, determination, and passion. Day in and day out, you and your employees bring their A-game, working hard to set yourselves apart from your bigger, showier competition. You’re no-fuss, no-frills, all value, and you know the importance of treating each customer like family.
So where, you may be asking, does environmental sustainability fit into this picture?
Perhaps you’ve been kicking around the idea of sustainable waste solutions for a while as a small business. Unfortunately, you haven’t yet found the time to implement them. Sure, you know how important such solutions are—both to the environment and to your public image—but given current global events, you’ve let it slip onto the back-burner.
Or, in contrast, maybe you’re ready to leap full force into sustainability efforts but are just so bogged down with all the work that comes with running a small business that you’re overwhelmed just thinking about it. Perhaps, too, you just don’t know where to begin!
No matter where you are in your sustainability habits, if you want to help the environment, then LJP Waste Solutions wants to help you. We’re here to simplify sustainability for small businesses, both via consultation and the following blog post. Read on to discover where to begin with environmental sustainability if you’re a small business. It doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s often made out to be!
Smart Waste Disposal is Inseparable from Sustainability
Sustainability is the action of leaving the environment and the local community in the same or better shape than you found it. Letting recyclables go to the landfill has no place in that definition!
However, as a small business, you probably don’t have time to sort all your trash yourself or optimize your waste management systems for minimal environmental impact. Finding a recycling company or a commercial waste service that is willing to help you is the first step toward adopting more sustainable small business practices.
LJP Waste Solutions is primed and ready to become your partner in working toward zero landfill goals or in working towards a higher degree of sustainability. We don’t just take care of your trash; we look at your waste management systems and streamline them, ensuring that your business is as gentle to the environment as possible. We’ll even run reports for you, turning sustainability efforts into tangible numbered documents that prove what you’re doing matters. We all can make a difference to the planet we live on; if you’re ready to embrace that, we’re ready to help.
In addition to recruiting the proper help, your small business can take a number of first steps on its own towards more sustainable practices. You have a unique opportunity to make such practices permeate all that you do.
● Investigate where your food products are coming from | Many small businesses, even those that don’t operate in the grocery or retail spheres themselves, deal with food, usually through vending machines for employees or the like.
Researching which brands you stock and if their operations align with your business’s sustainability goals is a great way to take even the less noticeable ways your small business operates into your own, eco-conscious hands. Stock brands that share a similar respect for the environment as your small business, and try to minimize those that invest in heavy packaging.
● Keep an eye on your HVAC system | Is the air cool enough to operate with your windows open and the AC down? Do it. Is it a pleasant, sunny day? Prop the front door open and play some music to lure customers inside.
Cutting down on how much your small business uses its heating or AC can do wonders for the environment, as well as minimize your bills. You don’t even need to compromise customer comfort!
● Check out any applicable industry standards to learn about your areas for improvement | In many cases, other businesses in your industry probably have begun to adopt sustainable practices. Don’t get discouraged at it, though; use it to your advantage!
Do some snooping around your competition’s website (they’re no doubt publicizing what they’re doing as far as sustainability goes), and vow to do better, or to approach the same subject matter in a different, more efficient way. Given that you’re a scrappy and innovative small business, this should come naturally to you!
● Create an action plan | As passionate as you are about sustainability, that passion will go nowhere without a game plan. In whatever form this may take for your small business—spreadsheets, public documents, you name it—create a timeline of your goals and make it easily accessible. Structure and accountability will get you far.
● Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Options | It is no secret that energy efficiency is a priority and if your small business is still using outdated equipment, replacing the items is another step toward lowering your carbon footprint. The two quickest options are swapping your traditional light bulbs for LEDs and installing a smart thermostat. LEDs are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, while smart thermostats can save up to 15% on cooling and heating expenses.
● Go Paperless | Another excellent way to make your company eco-friendlier is by incorporating digital documents and using less paper. And while being paperless isn't always an option; it can be helpful to provide your employees with reusable pens and notebooks rather than disposable options.
Encouraging your customers to go paperless, and at the same time, if you need to use paper, choosing a recycled option can make a significant impact over an extended period.
● Remove Single-Serve Items | Single-use plastics are becoming one of the biggest threats to our ecosystem worldwide. Items like bottles, straws, bags, and wrappers are the most commonly used items found in landfills, and since the 1950s, 8.3 billion metric tons have been produced, with half of that just in the last 15 years.
This is why, if possible, you should provide alternatives for your staff to help reduce the amount they are using.
Changes to incorporate can include:
● Reusable coffee mugs
● Washable cutlery
● Coffee machines
● Refill stations
● Choose Green Delivery and Shipping Options | Being more eco-friendly also starts with how your products are shipped. Making a conscious effort to be aware of how items are being packaged, how much waste is used for the shipping, and finding ways to reduce packing material are all excellent steps to get started in becoming more sustainable. Consolidating orders and using biodegradable fillers, mailing packages, and compostable bags are other options to incorporate into your plan.
Ready to Make Sustainability a Day-To-Day practice? LJP Waste Solutions is Here to Help
We’re a North Mankato waste management company with a devotion to the environment and to the satisfaction of our customers. Give us a call now at 507-625-1968.