A self-employed business person will have several things on their mind when trying to keep their business afloat. Maintaining a positive cashflow, pending expenses, tax bills, supplier relationships and even managing the expectations of customers. When these business owners are facing times of turmoil, the eco-friendliness of their business takes a back seat.
The challenge when trying to get self-employed business-owners to take part in sustainable activities is allowing them to participate in a model that doesn’t cause a strain on their time or resources. Therefore, self-employed businesses need to make the most of scalable processes, technology and partnerships to help them implement sustainable activities.
Here’s a few ways it can be done.
Stop purchasing disposable items.
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As a business owner, you should assess the amount of waste that you dispose of everyday. The majority of waste comes from the use of disposable items whose shelf life lasts less than 24h. If you find yourself going out to purchase bottled water or takeaway food, or even partner with suppliers whose materials require packaging that gets disposed of immediately, it will add to your waste disposal and contribute towards landfill.
Partner with eco-friendly partners.
As a one-person business, it is impossible to do everything. So it is essential to partner with other organisations that are experts in sustainability. Whether they manage the process once a product has reached the end of its life-cycle or they provide an ethical process at the supply stage, it is up to the business owner to identify and partner with the right organisations.
Here are a few ways this can be achieved.
Partner with sustainable paper recyclers and suppliers.
Most organisations go through several hundred pieces of paper on a daily basis. Much of the paper comes from non-recycled sources and is often ends up in landfill due to having a poor sustainability process.
Businesses can find a trusted supplier that will provide recycled paper, as well as categorise any used paper so that it can be forwarded to an ethical supplier for recycling.
Choose an ethical printer cartridge supplier.
There is a huge problem with the amount of printer cartridges that end up in landfill every year. Rather than be a part of the problem, you can choose to be a part of the solution by partnering with ethical ink cartridge suppliers like Cartridges Direct. The difference is that ethical organisations like Cartridges Direct provide a collection service for when the cartridges are empty. Business owners can mail the used cartridges back to the organisation, who will then forward the used cartridges to ethical recyclers so the materials can used to create other items such as e-wood, pens and ink.
Take advantage of technology
Almost every piece of electrical product on offer has the option to use eco-friendly technology. Look for electrical items that consume little energy or that power down when they recognise that they are in an idle state.
For example, LED lightbulbs can minimise the organisation’s energy consumption if the space is retrofitted from incandescent light bulbs. Additionally, investing in printers that power down rather than remain at full power when they are left in idle mode. Or even monitors and computers that shutdown when there aren’t in use.
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Make use of sustainable designs.
There are business designs around location and buildings that can help minimise the organisation’s impact on sustainability. For example, check your business’s operating space for the amount of natural light that will illuminate the different workspaces. Additionally, check the building’s design to see if there’s eco-friendly lighting through the use of LED light bulbs.
Furthermore, the location of the business will also have an impact on CO2 emissions for commutes and distribution.
Self-employed businesses can champion sustainability without feeling the strain on their finances or resources. Leverage these tips to help transition your self-employed business into a responsible, eco-friendly one.