A recent survey reported that 90% of consumers would switch brands to one associated with a social or environmental cause, and 71% would pay more for a socially or environmentally responsible product.

Small to medium businesses are responding to the needs and wants of the public as they move toward sustainable business practices and products. Are you on board? Here are some ideas to get you started:

• Recycle and reduce – Teach yourself (and your office) a bit about recycling. Understand which items truly can be recycled. Adding non-recyclable items to the “blue bin” actually slows down the recycling process because those items need to be sorted out and dealt with.

• Look into ‘green’ energy – this includes solar and wind power you can buy from an energy retailer. And think of when and where you can save energy. Do you leave your printer on all night? What about the coffee machine?

• Use recycled and post-consumer waste materials – Choose the products you’re your office consumes wisely. For example, avoid pollution causing single-use plastic items such as cups and utensils that get thrown away after one use. It’s usually asking a lot, but consider replacing your phone or other electronics less often to keep hazardous waste out of landfills.

• Consider eco-smart materials and products outside and inside – If you’re renovating your work space, look at “green” paints and building materials. Thermal paint additive can cut 40% of the sun’s heat, reducing energy needs. Do something similar for your body by enjoying locally-sourced, organic, fresh food and environmentally-friendly personal items.

• Seek out products with the whole life cycle in mind – “eco-design” and “life cycle design” take into consideration all the raw materials and energy needed to design, produce and distribute a product for a long life. Did that $80 chair you’re sitting in get shipped all the way over from the other side of the world? Think about how much energy was consumed and pollution generated in the process. Shop local whenever able.

• Save paper by using scanning to enable digital work processes – your printer is a great place to reduce paper waste and toner usage. A digital workflow is much easier on the environment than an analog one. Send used toner cartridges back through an approved recycling program, which prevents millions of supply items from entering landfills each year.

• Reduce business travel – rely on more virtual meetings and less in-person meetings. Join a rideshare program and use ride services instead of renting vehicles.

Contact us today to learn about how Capital Business Systems can help you “green up” your print environment.