It’s an unfortunate truth that many environmentally friendly products and services cost more than their less-green counterparts. But going green doesn’t always mean you have to spend more. In fact, independent contractors can actually save a surprising amount of money by adopting a green attitude towards daily business tasks. We’ve compiled a list of five quick tips that you can implement to go green and save.
Of course, the very best way to go green in the printing department and save on paper, ink, and toner, is to not print or make copies at all. Using email to send completed work or invoices, or even scanning and emailing document can help you avoid printing expenses altogether.
If you must print, however, there are steps you can take to minimize cost. Print on both sides of each sheet of paper or print exclusively in draft mode to conserve ink. By using email when you can and consciously conserving resources when you do need to print, you’ll be benefiting the environment and helping to reduce waste.
While we normally think of recycling as a way to convert trash into something usable again, independent professionals can save money by recycling items that are definitely not trash. For example, instead of buying brand new office furniture, search for vintage or gently used furniture in local thrift stores or on Craigslist. You can also find pre-owned, refurbished tech equipment such as printers or even computers for significant savings. And, by taking advantage of trade-in programs, you can exchange your old, used devices for a discount on new ones.
Rather than purchasing an appliance to handle each different task you have to complete, such as a printer, fax machine, copier, etc., buy an all-in-one device instead. Not only will you save money by purchasing one device instead of several, but you’ll also save on energy costs. And while you’re out buying office appliances, stock up on LED lightbulbs as well. Incredibly, LED lights use 50-80% less energy and making this one simple switch can save you as much as $75 per month.
If you operate your business from your home, you may also consider making some updates in pursuit of LEED Certification. This certification can be a key motivator for environmentally conscious clients and can also offer your business tax credits, fee waivers, and grants.
If your work requires you to drive a lot, you may consider choosing a hybrid or electric car as your next vehicle to save money while reducing your carbon footprint. If you’re able, taking public transportation to client meetings is another green way to save.
While mass mailings are mostly a marketing strategy of the past, other printed marketing materials such as brochures and flyers are still common. To cut down on the need for these materials, focus your efforts online. Build out your social media profiles, create a professional website, or write a blog as a way to engage with current clients and showcase your expertise to prospects.
By implementing these small tips into your business, you can save money while helping out the environment. And, when today’s discerning consumers out just how green you are, it just might help your business out as well.
Bill rate and pay rate are two commonly confused terms. Here’s the difference and what you need to know to keep them straight.
An overview of common self-employed tax-deductible expenses.