4 Easy Ways to Make Your Business More Sustainable

“Is my business sustainable?” Every smart businessperson has asked themselves this question. Whether evaluating the health of a financial plan, current hiring practices, or marketing goals, considering the long-term viability of current strategies empowers us to secure a brighter future for our businesses, our clients, and our employees.

Evaluating the environmental sustainability of our offices also allows us to secure a brighter future for our planet.

Here are four cost-effective ways to make your business more eco-friendly, and just in time for Earth Day!

#1: Encourage green commuting.

The average American spends 400 hours commuting to work every year, resulting in  $60 billion in fuel waste. Encourage employees to telecommute, use public transportation, bike, or carpool. Carpooling has been shown to save commuters money, foster positive work relationships, and has the potential to decrease traffic by up to 80%.

#2: Choose safer cleaning products.

American buildings consume 6 billion pounds of chemicals and 30 million trees worth of sanitary paper every year. Most cleaning products use petroleum, a limited and nonrenewable natural resource that leaves a significant carbon footprint. Brands like Method, Honest, Norwex, and NatureClean use non-toxic and all-natural ingredients to sanitize without harmful chemicals.

#3: Buy ethically-sourced coffee.

Most employees use coffee to fuel their work throughout the day. Few know that their cup of Arabica could be fueling human trafficking. Human rights violations and modern-day slavery are incredibly prevalent in the coffee and tea industry. Even major brands like Nestle admit that beans from slave labor often end up in their blends. Before purchasing coffee for the office, look beyond the Fairtrade label. Do your research. Make sure that products are 100% ethically sourced by adult workers laboring in humane conditions.

#4: Recycle your e-waste.

What is e-waste?

Electronic waste is any electronic device that is old, broken, or otherwise unusable. Beyond laptops and computers, E-waste includes televisions, DVD players, VCRs, stereos, cameras, tablets, and fax machines.

It takes 539 pounds of fossil fuels, 48 chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water to create just one computer. Only 12% of e-waste is ever recycled; most of the world’s unwanted electronics are piled up in landfills or burned, releasing toxic pollutants into the atmosphere.

Be intentional in recycling your office’s old tech. Recycling centers like IT Refresh offer responsible e-waste solutions for households, institutions, and commercial businesses large and small. Although e-waste recycling can cost money, local events like iPoint’s Flowers for Towers offer free electronic waste removal annually.

Choose business practices that are financially and environmentally sustainable. Making these four, simple changes will improve the health of your office and the health of our planet.

Basic IT Maintenance Tips

IT maintenance

Do you have a computer that feels like it is not running as fast as it used to? One of the biggest reasons that they start to slow down over time is neglect. Computers need a little care and IT maintenance every now and then in order to perform well. It is just like cars. Everyone knows that cars need their oil changed every so often, tires rotated/changed, and brakes checked, so why don’t people treat their PC’s with the same care?

Part of the problem is that people just don’t know what is involved in maintaining a computer. Getting a computer fixed from a professional can be costly and inconvenient. It is much better to do a little maintenance yourself. Here is a list of things you can easily do yourself, even with little computer knowledge, to make sure your computer stays running like new:

 

Keep windows updated with latest patches

Windows provides a program called Microsoft Update that will periodically search for, and install updated to your computer. You can schedule these updates to run while you are sleeping so that they do not interfere with your usage.

Keep your spyware and antivirus programs updated

You should be using some type of program on your computer to regularly scan for spyware and viruses. These programs can also be scheduled to run overnight. Keeping these up to date can drastically help improve the performance of your PC.

 

Remove unused applications and other junk

Your PC likely has a lot of old non-essential files that pile up and slow it down. For example, Windows Internet Explorer stores copies of the pages and media that you visit so that it will load faster on your next visit. Cleaning these up can provide a nice boost to your PC performance. There are many free programs that can clean up your computer. One of the most popular and recommended is CCleaner.

Pay attention to the software you install

The biggest source of viruses and spyware comes from users themselves. Many programs like to install additional software on your computer. Pay attention when you are installing software and programs to ensure that no extras are being installed as well.

 

 

 

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