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6 Eco-Friendly Steps for Small Businesses

About FlexJobs: FlexJobs is a green-certified, innovative job service for hand-screened and professional flexible, part-time, telecommuting, and freelance job listings. FlexJobs gives job-seekers an ad-free way to find legitimate jobs quickly, easily, and safely. A proud member of the Better Business Bureau, FlexJobs’ trained research team identifies quality job leads in over 50 career categories, ranging from entry-level to executive, freelance to full-time. FlexJobs is a green, carbon-balanced company that is leading the way to the future of work by promoting telecommuting and flexible jobs that allow people work in environmentally responsible ways. 

Every Earth Day, the team at FlexJobs takes stock of its own efforts to be green, and we’d like to share our best tips for going green so that other small businesses can do the same. With 27 people on staff, all working from home offices throughout the U.S. and one in Europe, our green efforts are varied and we try to do as much as we can both as a group, and as individuals.

Here are six eco-friendly steps that FlexJobs has taken, and that other small businesses can take to implement green business practices and be more environmentally responsible.

Support green causes Every Earth Day, FlexJobs supports The Nature Conservancy by pledging to plant a tree for each new subscription we receive on Earth Day. This helps us and our customers go green in a special way each year.

Work from home This is a bonus for small businesses because for one, allowing employees to work from home helps us eliminate the need for costly real estate and office space. But even more importantly, working from home is a green way to work. With 27 cars out of the daily commute, FlexJobs is stopping 35.1 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere every year (based on mid-sized cars and an average daily commute).

Don’t travel for meetings There are so many amazing technologies available today that traveling (by car or plane) for in-person meetings can be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. For small businesses with tight budgets, economical programs exist that allow for seamless virtual meetings. At FlexJobs, we use a program called Join.Me, as well as GoToWebinar, for meetings and presentations.

Encourage recycling While everyone at FlexJobs is encouraged to recycle everything they can, from paper, glass, and aluminum all the way to printer cartridges batteries, in-office workers should also be encouraged to recycle. Everyone should be given a recycling can to keep at their desk, so they can recycle throughout the day quickly, rather than making special trips to an office-wide recycling bin. Educate employees on what can be recycled, and hold drives to recycle special items that can’t go in the normal recycling bin.

Sign a pledge. Several years ago, when FlexJobs decided to formally “go green” as an organization, our CEO spearheaded a pledge that all team members have signed which states that we will all take specific steps in our home offices to be more green every day. Some of those steps include:

  • Using CFL or LED light bulbs in our home offices (company-reimbursed).
  • Using natural light and air whenever possible, and only using heat or AC when necessary.
  • Eliminating printing altogether unless absolutely necessary.
  • Maintaining an oxygen-filtering house plant in our home offices (company-reimbursed).

Enlist the help of professionals No matter how hard we try, as small businesses we are always going to be doing things that are less-than-good for the environment. To offset any carbon footprint we might have, FlexJobs is Carbon Balanced by TerraPass. With TerraPass, we can sponsor clean energy and carbon reduction projects that will continue to lower our carbon footprint each year.

Small businesses can take small steps to make a big environmental impact. And as more small businesses start greening their business practices, the better we can support each other. 

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