This Friday is the 46th Anniversary of Earth Day, and to celebrate we want to take a look at a subject business owners aren’t usually excited about: sustainability.
Question: How sustainable is your small business, energy wise? Commercials buildings of all kinds generally use up a lot of energy, and as a small business owner it’s time you did your part and made your building or buildings more energy efficient.
We understand if you’re sick of all the “going green” talk, it’s a drum that has been beaten into the ground many times over. And we also recognize that you may not be thrilled to hear someone tell you how much you need to be conserving energy at your business. But people like to say that the economy starts with small businesses, and this is also true for energy consumption. So in honor of Earth Day, here are some ways your small business can conserve more energy.
- HVAC Maintenance: When was the last time you got your HVAC system checked out? Too often do small business owners neglect their ventilation and air-conditioning, not even noticing that the system is in dire need of a tune-up or replacement altogether. If you neglect regular maintenance and check-ups, your system will have to continuously use more energy, which is trouble not only for the environment but for your wallet as well. During peak cold/warm seasons, you should also make the effort to change or clean your filters, too. Messy or old filters cost more to use and can cause air problems in your building.
- Office equipment: Monitoring office equipment may sound trivial and unnecessary, but this is actually an area where a business can suffer the most when it comes to energy conservation. You should make sure that your building is constantly turning off machines when they are not in use. For instance, a common misconception is that computer screensavers diminish energy use, but this isn’t true. What you should focus on instead is having your building’s machines automatically switch to sleep mode or have employees turn monitors off manually.
- Lighting: It doesn’t get any more obvious than this, but any light not in use should be turned off as often as possible. Your business should have switch plate occupancy sensors in necessary areas so lights automatically turn off in rooms that don’t receive heavy usage. Also, try to use natural light as much as you can during the daytime.
- No more paper: Businesses are becoming increasingly less reliant on paper and more dependent on electronic forms of documents. If your company has yet move on from paper and go completely digital you should seriously consider it as soon as possible. The U.S. wastes about 69 million tons of paper each year, and your company is simply better off making everything digital than simply trying to recycle everything.
We hope you take these tips on energy conservation to heart, and happy Earth Day to all!