Green entrepreneurs are a growing force in the start-up world, and they aren’t just coffee shop owners and locavore grocers. Small business owners in every sector of the economy are discovering that going green is not just better for society; it’s also better for customer satisfaction, as well as the bottom line. Here are a few of the most effective ways entrepreneurs are leading the way in environmental stewardship.
1. Retro Furnishings
Start-ups across the country are cutting their initial costs by reusing and recycling old light fixtures, desks, giant cable spools, discarded pallets and more to furnish and style their offices (or garages), instead of splurging on new offices and fancy furniture. It’s hip, cheap, and efficient, allowing entrepreneurs and their staff to function like they need to, without spending much money. It also saves the waste and cost of manufacturing new products and keeps those old furnishings out of the landfill.
2. Cutting Out Cars
By thinking carefully about where they buy their office space, and using company bikes or public transit to get around, greentrepreneurs (BPGL calls them “ecopreneurs“) save time and money, reduce pollution, and ensure they’ll never have to hunt for a parking spot again.
When central locations aren’t feasible, eco-conscious entrepreneurs can organize carpools, or accommodate telecommuters. With multiparty video chat and dozens of ways to connect, many information/service-based employers find that they don’t need the expense and environmental strain of physical office space at all.
In the 2000s, many offices went paperless, but computing power is the new inefficiency to root out of the modern office. Electronics are a significant energy drain, and they’re environmentally destructive to build — so pushing an office’s computing and storage needs to the cloud allows small businesses to get the same jobs done with less expense and less waste.
Cloud accounting, streaming, collaboration, and storage can allow a start-up to run leaner, cleaner, and more profitable than attempts to perform those functions in-house. Google offers free cloud office programs and storage, and companies like Adobe offer greatly discounted software suites to those willing to subscribe to their cloud service.
4. Energy Efficiency
Far ahead of government regulations involving the manufacturing of incandescent bulbs, entrepreneurs have of necessity been using more energy-efficient forms of lighting. From CFLs and LEDs to larger windows and skylights, energy efficient lighting is a no-brainer.
Green-power strips that intelligently turn off computers, copiers, and other electronics once the working day is over are also a solid investment, since these devices tend to use nearly as much power in their idle state as they do during the workday.
Investing in energy efficient products not only helps long-term costs go down, but tax breaks and utility company rebates help reduce the initial cost of upgrading lights and other electronics. All of this ensures that utility costs and carbon footprints are reduced.
5. Eco Businesses
Then there are the entrepreneurs who are on the forefront of green production. From solar cell production and wind farms to organic resellers to a couple of Berkeley guys using old coffee grounds to grow hydroponic mushrooms, new companies are starting daily that are rooted in being and selling green.
Companies like these benefit from tax credits, positive public relations, an increasingly eco-aware consumer base, and the knowledge they’re doing their part to help the environment.
Blue Planet Green Living (Home Page)
About the Writer
Patricia Shuler is a Mobile Moo staff writer from Oakland, California. Sheís an admitted tech-junkie who ís quick to share her honest opinion on all things consumer electronic — including up-to-date news, user reviews, and no-holds barred opinions on a variety of social media, tech, computer, and mobile accessories topics.