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4771912_SGoing green can save your business money, while helping the planet. But where to begin? Here are a few easy ways to green your business:

First, establish a plan. Be realistic about what you can and cannot do and the costs associated with the changes. Will it be more high level or will you focus on the nitty gritty day-to-day stuff?

For example, you might set an intention to reduce waste by recycling or cutting back on use of paper products and upgrading with more efficient technology. You can provide branded mugs and water bottles. Trade in old, used or broken printers and devices, and recycle ink/printer cartridges at your local office supply store to avoid sending them to the landfill.

Don’t forget to focus on what you can’t see. Energy vampires can really add up. You can save up to 20 percent a year on energy costs just by turning off electronics and lights when they’re not in use. And speaking of lights, you might consider switching to LEDs, as they only use a fraction of electricity of incandescents and last up to 15 times longer.  Be mindful of your other office supply choices, too. You might consider only purchasing eco-friendly products or doing business with green-minded companies.

Speaking of values, consider your own company culture. Your plan should evolve and change as your business does, and as you discover more about choices and opportunities ahead it’s also important to reinforce your commitment to green practices and engage employees. You should feel proud about your choices and your customers can feel like they’re a part of the solution by supporting your sustainable practices.

Green business practices can transcend your individual business and create an opportunity to make a larger impact on your industry and society at large.