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By 2ndactt/ Photo by Josh Hild on Pexels.com

Business owners stand in a more privileged position than anyone else when it comes to fighting climate change. As a decision-maker, you make choices that affect your material suppliers, business partners, and people in your office.

You can do more for the planet than you realize. Huge the task may seem; the methods are simple.    

1. Go paperless 

Business contracts, work manuals, faxed documents, receipts, and sticky notes. The corporate world is built on heaps of paper. But there are ways to help companies go paper-free.

X Paper contracts

Store them in the cloud, share online, sign electronically, and get them encrypted. Google “electronic signature,” and there are a bunch of online services to choose from.

X Manuals

Put them in the cloud and offer shared links for people to get access. 

X Faxed documents

Scan the paper document into a digital format, then email it. 

There are two things bad about thermal paper. First, it is never a reliable way to keep documents as what is on the fax paper vanishes over time. Second, the paper contains chemicals (BPA and BPS), which can damage health. 

X Paper receipts

Replace with electronic receipts 

Paper receipts pose the same health risks as faxed documents do because they are also made of thermal paper. What is even worse is that the production of paper receipts takes millions of gallons of water. It depletes our cherished water resources.  

X Sticky notes

Replace them with note apps

2. Give up water dispensers that come with plastic bottles 

Bottled water dispensers are still prevalent in many places. The more we use them, the more we encourage manufacturers to produce them. 

One of the ways to reduce plastic bottles in your office is to replace bottled water coolers with direct-piping water dispensers or other alternatives. 

3. Change to LED lamps

Compared with compact fluorescent lamps or the old-fashioned incandescent light bulbs, LED lamps save the most energy. A 12W LED equals a 60W traditional light bulb and can last up to 25,000 hours. Buy LED lamps the next time you purchase for your office. 

4. Allow remote work 

Think about how the air has turned surprisingly fresh because of a disastrous pandemic that has confined people to their homes. Tons of carbon dioxide emission can be reduced, if people do not have to commute daily to their offices.

The outbreak will subside. For the rest of us who survived, we are responsible for a better world, at least a cleaner one to begin with. We have seen how cleaner air is possible, and all it takes is dramatically less traffic. 

To make it happen needs corporate efforts. That means companies will have to annul their clock-in/ clock-out practices. That means bosses will have to give more trust to their employees when they are not around in the office. That also means workers will be more self-disciplined as they work from somewhere else.  

The use of paper and plastics is inevitable sometimes. And there are types of work that require people to show up. But with sustainability in mind, business owners will be able to find more ways to get their businesses greener. Expand your influence and save the world.

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