Top Ways Your Small Business can Contribute to Energy Conservation
Running a business comes with many additional responsibilities. It does not only involve focusing on growth and development of your company alone. As a conscious business owner, you also have to consider the imprint your business leaves on the environment. Especially with growing concern for the future of our energy resources because of their fast depletion, an ethical business should make every effort to reduce their energy consumption.Here are the most practical and effective methods every small business can adopt to contribute to energy conservation.
Remember to turn off devices
One of the most efficient ways to conserve energy in the office is to make sure that all kinds of equipment and electrical devices are switched off when they are not required. Turn off your computers when you are away from your desk for a long time or you can at least make use of the hibernate mode if you are in the middle of work. It enables you to continue where you left off as soon as you come back to your desk. At the end of the day, it is crucial that all systems be switched off before leaving.
Always remember to switch off and unplug printers, copiers, scanners and other such devices whenever you do not need them. Even air conditioning should be regulated. You can save 10 percent of power if you reduce the temperature by one degree during winter, and increase it by one degree during summer.
Be thrifty when it comes to printing
You can reduce wasting paper and power by printing only when necessary. This way, you get to hit two birds with one stone. Not only you save a huge amount of paper, you also save the energy which is required for running the printer. Plus, when you don't use your printer frequently and unnecessarily, it will last longer.
Also, remember to unplug your printer when you do not use it. Just switching it off won't do. Electrical equipment still consumes some amount of power when they are plugged in.
Make sure that you use up-to-date equipment
Electrical appliances which are outdated tend to use up much more energy than the latest products in the market. This is because new models of such appliances have energy saving features. So, invest in up-to-date heaters and air conditioners even if that means you will have to spend more money. It is an investment that is worth the cost because you will end up saving not only energy but a whole lot of money that would have gone to maintenance.
Make sure to buy energy star products to save maximum energy. Remember that energy conservation for your business is not a one-man task. Educate your employees on how energy-saving features on certain appliances work and inform them to use it on your printer, microwave, air conditioning and so on.
Use CFL and LED lights
If your office is still using incandescent light bulbs, switch to CFL or LED lights as soon as possible. These are great ways to save energy as well as money. Even though they may cost a little more, they last extremely long and do not require frequent maintenance or replacement. CFL light bulbs are said to last ten times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
LED lights are the best option when it comes to energy conservation, even better than CFL lights. They are so energy efficient that they use 85 to 90 percent less power. They also last up to an average of 50,000 hours, making them last 50 times longer than incandescent light bulbs.
Make use of natural lighting
Perhaps the best way to save energy on lighting is by making use of natural lighting. This is especially extremely practical and beneficial for small businesses and start-ups that have to do everything they can to save operational costs.
Keep lights switched off during the day and instead keep windows and curtains open. The best way to get maximum natural lighting is by using skylights. Have skylights installed on the roofs of your office, wherever possible. You can keep the lights on throughout the day only in dark areas. Such practices mean huge savings on energy as well as electricity bills.
Recycle as much as you can
Another practical method of saving energy is to recycle everything you can, whenever possible. Recycling and reusing are the most efficient ways of conserving any kind of energy.
You can recycle office papers by printing on both sides rather than just one side, especially when printing out documents which are not official. You can also recycle other office supplies like notebooks, file holders, ink cartridges, containers, bottles and cups, even computers and phones whenever possible. Don't simply throw out old supplies. There is always a way to make use of them again even in unexpected ways.
Use hand dryers instead of paper towels
Replace all paper towels with hand dryers in your restrooms. You may think paper towels are more eco-friendly and that using hand dryers will contribute to energy wastage. But the truth is that you have to refill dispensers of paper towels frequently, which leads to higher expenses and unnecessary use of paper.
By adopting hand dryers, your business can actually save as much as 90 percent of operational costs. What better option for small businesses to save money as well as energy?
Install solar panels if possible
If you can afford it, solar panels are one of the most efficient methods of saving energy. Solar power does not leave any carbon footprint. Rather, it is a renewable and clean source of energy. It is an extremely smart investment too because the power itself is free once you get the panels. So you can save a huge percentage of operational costs by installing solar panels in your office.
Moreover, they last longer and do not require frequent maintenance. High-quality panels from trusted manufacturers can even make up for all the amount you spent on buying them. So, even if they may be a little expensive, you will be saving on so much of your bills that it is possible to recover every dollar spent.