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Climate Change is a business concern too

Today is Blog Action Day, with over 6,000 bloggers writing about  climate change and its impact on our world, and on us.

Maybe climate change, and protecting our environment, is something you think of at home or when choosing to buy local or low packaging options. Many people act as if environmental concerns don’t apply at work or in business, but we all need to think and act sustainably all the time and in all sorts of situations.

As a small business owner, here are some of the things I take into account:

  • amongst other reasons, I work from home because it saves any energy or pollution from commuting to an office somewhere else AND I only have one set of base consumption (e.g. I don’t heat an office and somewhere for my baby; I only need one computer for business and personal use)
  • I choose to reuse paper by using the back of documents and envelopes instead of notepads
  • I buy recycled paper products for printing
  • I email invoices and statements to save paper and printing – the computer is already on so sending an email is close to environmentally neutral
  • I read news items and articles online rather than buying paper versions – and rarely print copies of them
  • I use email and phone calls as much as possible for communicating with clients – again, this saves using a car or plane for meeting face to face
  • I turn off my computer, printer, etc when I finish for the day, and turn off my screen whenever I leave my desk for a while
  • I close the curtains as soon as it starts getting dark and cold – keeping the heat inside saves heating
  • I choose practical promotional items rather than gimmicky things that use resources to make but provide no real value. So I would prefer a pen, notepad, water bottle or bookmark to a plastic bracelet, inflatable toy, flag or fan

I’m sure there’s more as I care about my environmental impact, but the list shows how easy it can be to include environmental ideas into everyday business. While we may not be able to reverse climate change, I think we can slow it down considerably by taking individual responsibility in the little things as well as the big things.

In Copenhagen next month, world leaders will be making some decisions and agreements about topics around climate change. I just hope that everyone starts working on those targets straight away rather than waiting until the deadlines.

What have you done/are you doing in your business to help our planet? What suggestions do you have for other businesses?

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