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4 Simple Ways To Make Your Business Eco-Friendly

By Maria Cook

Since the industrial revolution of the late 1700s, the business world has generated more pollution, mostly via product production, than any other force on the planet. Only recently have we come to understand just how deeply that pollution effects us and the planet. From climate change to untimely deaths (air pollution alone kills an estimated 7 million people each year, according to the World Health Organization) pollution is a huge problem. In 2014, researchers  at Columbia, USC, and UC San Diego even found that pollution makes us less productive at work, particularly when that work involves any kind of physical labor.

As a modern business owner, you have a great opportunity. You can learn from the mistakes of past businesses, and take action to ensure that your business is run in such a way that it doesn't harm the environment or contribute to the planet's pollution problem. 

1. Invest in green infrastructure 

Whether you own your own office space or rent space within an existing building, there are ways to improve your business's infrastructure in order to make it more energy efficient and reduce its carbon footprint. If you own your own building, take the time to research and invest in electrical appliances that use less energy. Though the upfront cost of such items may be higher than normal, it will pay dividends in the long run in the form of decreased energy bills for your business. 

Another simple way to reduce your business's carbon footprint and improve its' energy efficiency? Proper lighting. LED lights might be more expensive than traditional bulbs, but they'll pay for themselves over time through lowered energy cost. And because most electricity is produced in ways which produce CO2, using less electricity means lowering your carbon footprint.

2. Recycle

It's one of the basics of green living, but there's plenty of ways to make sure your office is just as eco-friendly as your home. Did you know that ink cartridges from printers are a particularly problematic kind of waste, with roughly 375 million ink and toner cartridges thrown away per year? Luckily, there are recyclers who specialize in recycling ink cartridges, and even printer companies that will collect empty cartridges and reuse them as a regular business practice. Things like phones (both mobile and desk phones), computers, refrigerators, microwaves and even printers themselves can be reused or recycled.