My word of the year is Minimalism and making sustainable daily decisions is at the front of my mind. We’ve been hearing about sustainability for years. Green this, eco that. So what changes have you made in your life to support the future of our planet?
You don’t need to go zero to 100 to make an impact. Just start with small swaps and increase your commitment over time. You may not think your choices make a difference but they do. The businesses you choose to support with your dollars make an impact.
So, let’s dive into some eco-friendly business tips and tricks that are perfect for you amazing folks running online businesses – from virtual assistants to web wizards, and everyone in between.
Sustainable Actions for Work From Home Employees and Entrepreneurs
Whether you’re self-employed or a remote employee, we spend a lot of time in our homes. Working from home is already a win for cutting out the daily commute but we can still do more. Check out my eco-friendly business tips for a happy home:
Waste Management at Home
Reduce Your Food Waste:
This tip is mostly just being conscious of the food you are buying and making sure it actually gets eaten.
Being home gives you the opportunity to cook more meals. Plan out those meals and love your leftovers. Your wallet and the planet will thank you. I have a whiteboard on my fridge where I write down what meals I have and when they were made. Having a list means leftovers don’t get lost in a drawer or at the back of the fridge. And I know what needs to get eaten first. The bonus is I don’t need to open the door to peruse my options which saves electricity!
Cut down on paper towel usage:
They’re handy, but let’s be honest, a good old-fashioned cloth does the trick, and it’s reusable. I love using these reusable paper towels from Papaya that we’ve all seen on social media. And there are many options on the market these days if you want to get fancy.
Stop buying plastic water bottles:
Every year, around 480 billion plastic bottles are sold globally. If you were to line them up end-to-end, they could circle the Earth more than 2,400 times.
Cutting down on plastic bottles isn’t just good for the environment, but it’s probably good for your body. While we still don’t have a ton of information on the possible health hazards of microplastics in our drinking water, I’m staying away when possible. Luckily, when you work from home, it’s a simple task to just fill up a water glass.
But if you’re like me and live in a major city, drinking straight from the tap isn’t always an option. I was buying gallon water jugs to reduce my plastic waste until I invested in this countertop reverse osmosis water machine! It’s been amazing. Reverse osmosis makes my tap water taste like nothing and there’s no installation necessary. Just fill up the tank and press a button to get drinkable water in less than 5 minutes.
This tip won’t work for everyone but if you have food scraps, don’t just toss them – compost them! It’s like giving a gourmet meal to your garden. Want to give it a go? Check out this article for a detailed how-to!
If you don’t have a garden or the space to compost, check to see if your city has a collection program.
Use reusable shopping bags:
If you aren’t bringing your own shopping bags to at least get your groceries, why in the world not?
When my local grocery store switched to charging for bags, something flipped in my brain and now I bring my reusable bags almost everywhere. I know you have shopping bags at home. Stop forgetting about them! Make it a habit to bring your colorful, reusable bags everywhere. Or if you’re only getting one or two items at a store, tell the cashier you don’t need a bag. It’s one of the simplest switches you can make this year.
Sustainable Actions for Your Business
Embracing Digital and Reusable Alternatives:
If you’re like me, you scribble down random notes and reminders throughout the day. This year I bought myself a set of reusable “sticky notes”. They are magnetic, dry-erase squares and I keep track of all my client projects with them now.
Or, if you like permanent notes, go digital and type it up.
Choose Sustainable Client Gifts:
When it comes to client gifts, think eco-chic. Don’t spend money on cheap trinkets that will end up in the trash. If you splurge a little, those gifts will last a long time. By gifting sustainably, you are increasing your impact. Get creative!
Things I love to gift (and get!) :
- A low maintenance potted plant – Pothos are my favorite
- Reusable coffee mugs or water bottles – I’m obsessed with my Yeti tumblers for hot and cold drinks. You can even brand them with your logo before shipping off to clients.
- Reusable tote bags – remember how we just talked about reusable shopping bags?
Recycle your electronics:
Got a heap of old cables and tech stuff? Don’t just dump them in trash because you think it doesn’t matter. Electronics don’t belong in the trash. Find a local e-waste recycling center instead. They often take some household items also, like batteries and lightbulbs, that shouldn’t get thrown out. Or find a local recycling that drive that might be hosted by a non-profit organization.
Stop printing everything:
Who needs stacks of paper when you have the cloud? Recycle what you can and go digital for the rest. Do you really need to print that email? Think twice, hit ‘save’, and embrace the digital age.
Conclusion? Your Eco-Friendly Business Journey Awaits.
Embarking on this green journey in your business isn’t just good for the planet; it’s a fantastic way to connect with like-minded customers and set yourself apart in the digital marketplace. Remember, every little step counts. Let’s make 2024 the year we turn our businesses into forces for good for our beautiful planet. Who’s with me? What eco-friendly business tips are you utilizing year?
Together, we can make a difference, one click and one recycled paper at a time. Let’s do this! 🌿💚🌏