Lots of stay at home moms run their own business from home too. It’s a nice way to add to the family’s income and enjoy your own interests. When eco friendly living is one of your goals, you should be certain you extend those goals to your home business as well. While in some ways home businesses are already green, using a space you already live in, there’s more you could be doing. Here are some ideas to help.
1. Make sure your niche is eco friendly.
You don’t have to go with specifically environmentally friendly items with your business, but if you’re trying to be eco friendly in your personal life while selling things that are decidedly not eco friendly, how green are you really?
Of course, not all business ideas have much of anything to do with the environment as such. If you’re working as a virtual assistant there are only so many ways to be any more eco friendly than the next virtual assistant. But if you’re selling products, do consider the environmental impact of the products you sell.
2. Do as much as you can online.
You may or may not be able to do all of your business online or over the telephone, but do what you can. Keep in contact with customers through email. Have your website with an eco friendly hosting company. Host Gator and Dreamhost, for example, have programs in place to keep their carbon emissions down, through things such as wind power and carbon credits.
You can do a lot of banking and bill paying online too. If you’re involved in affiliate marketing, you can look into direct deposit for your earnings, rather than having to take checks to the bank. This may be possible with other home businesses too.
3. Choose eco friendly promotional materials.
When you do promote your business offline, look for options that are kinder to the environment, such as mailers made from recycled paper.
4. Minimize printing.
Some people love to print things out. With a little practice, you can devise a filing system on your computer so that you don’t have to print out all the things you receive. Try to only print out the things you actually need to have on paper.
5. Drive only when you have to.
Having a home business doesn’t always mean you don’t drive for your business. Sometimes it’s necessary. You may be involved in a home party plan and have to go to people’s houses, for example, or your business may involve going to see your clients in person.
Try to make the times you must drive more efficient. Walking or taking public transportation aren’t glamorous ways to get there, but they can work when the distances and times are appropriate.
If you need some time to work out of the house, just to get away, think of ways to do that without driving. Is there a park or coffee shop you like to work at that’s in reasonable walking distance?
6. Turn electronics and lights off when not needed.
When you’re done for the day or for a long enough time, make sure to shut down computers, printers and so forth, as well as turn off all the unnecessary lights. A Smart Strip can help to save power by shutting off power to peripheral equipment when you turn off the computer.
7. Recycle your old electronics.
Don’t just throw away old computers, cell phones and so forth when it’s time to replace them. Find out how to recycle them properly. Local governments sometimes have specific days when you can take in electronic waste, or you can check on the EPA website.
8. Add a plant to your office (and elsewhere in your home).
Plants are great. They’re relaxing to look at and they freshen the air in your home. Not only should you keep one or more in your home office, you should get a few for around the house.
9. Go energy efficient.
Energy efficiency isn’t just for lightbulbs, although CFLs or LEDs can be a great choice. It’s also for your computer, where a laptop is typically much more energy efficient than a desktop, and computer monitors can have Energy Star ratings.
Our business, our website, meet these 9 green points.
1) Niche = Sustainability + Personal Finance
2) The entire business is online
3) We promote online – no paper
4) No paper means no printing!
5) We work from home – no reason to drive.
6) Part of our lifestyle is to live in a sustainable manner. When not in use the lights and electronics get turned off.
7) We recently upgraded our computers and plan to donate them to those in need.
8) We added plants and we’ve started our veggies in our office space.
9) Energy star machines, CFL light bulbs! check!
Glad to see we met the criteria fully.