How to Go Green and Save Money

hands with plants
It’s now more important than ever for your business to do its part to help the environment. Last year was the hottest year on record. The average American now produces 4.4 pounds of trash every day. And global sea levels are expected to rise 7 to 23 inches before the end of this century. Pretty scary stuff.

Besides protecting Mother Earth, there’s another reason to go green: It can save your business money. Here are six Earth Day resolutions to help you green your business this year:

Go paperless.

There’s little need for paper anymore. The lion’s share of your business operations can be housed in the cloud.

Use services like Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box to store all your documents and files. Send contracts through DocuSign. Take care of your accounting with solutions like QuickBooks or Xero. For getting paid, turn to two digital Square features: Square Invoices (which can also help you get paid faster) and digital receipts.

All of these quick fixes help save trees. They also streamline your day-to-day tasks and reduce the need to invest in costly office equipment like printers and copy machines.

Change to LED lightbulbs.

While LED lightbulbs may be more expensive upfront, they save loads of energy and money in the long run. LED bulbs can use up to 30 percent less energy than incandescent lightbulbs and last 25 times longer. In fact, some LEDs can last 20 years or more.

Switching out 100 bulbs that are typically turned on for eight hours a day could save you more than $1,000 a year, according to CNBC.

Reap tax benefits.

There are sizable tax benefits and rebates available to businesses that make efforts to go green. The specifics vary from state to state, but installing energy-efficient appliances (things like refrigerators, air conditioners, heat-pump water heaters, and certain commercial ovens) can save you big time. Check the Small Business Administration’s website to see what sort of energy-efficiency tax discounts apply to your state.

Buy used furniture.

With the bevy of online marketplaces now available to purchase quality used and reclaimed furniture (Chairish, 1stDibs, and Viyet, to name a few outside of Craigslist), there’s no need to purchase stuff off the factory line anymore. Buying recycled furniture helps the environment, saves you money, and spices your storefront design with something a little more unique.

Purchase reusable bags.

A staggering statistic: Approximately 500 billion plastic bags are used every year. That means more than one million bags are used every minute. Retail stores can help chip away at this number by offering reusable bags for customers to purchase for a small fee.

Reusable bags are not only environmentally friendly, they also act as a calling card for your business. Takeaway merchandise can be one of the most effective ways to get your brand on people’s radars.

Conserve water.

Fix those leaky faucets. Install low-flush toilets. Don’t pre-rinse your dishes. Opt for drought-resistant plants. There are tons of ways to cut back on water usage at your business. (The EPA has some more great ideas.) And saving water can also help your bottom line. By using water- and energy-efficient appliances, you can save around $300 each year.

Accept chip cards and Apple Pay everywhere.

From magstripe and chip cards to NFC payments, accept every way your customers want to pay.

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