5 tips on how to make your Business greener!

When I created the idea of Green Hat SEM, I didn’t think much about the environment and how it could relate to the system. On Sphinn for my “What is Green Hat SEM” post “Onreact” comment this:

“Good idea, bad explanation. Using “green” without any environmental meaning seems obsolete in today’s business world.”

Since I love to get feedback from others on my ideas, I thought about that for a moment. I do think that it is a bit fatal to look at everything Green just from an environmental prospective but here are 5 tips on how you can make your Online Business greener. At the end the same basic idea as Green Hat SEM, “If you do something do it right and do it with passion”.

1.       Make your office paperless

The first prediction of Paperless offices was made in 1975 by Business Week. Until then, a lot has changed and there is so many more reason why a Business should switch to paperless office. If you are not familiar with the concept of paperless office, I recommend reading the Wiki Article about it and Siemens did a white paper on “Moving to a Paperless Office – Is it Just About the Cost of the Technical Solution?

I personally use Google Apps combined with MyTorch.com to securely store, organize and share my documents with my clients. With reducing the amount of Paper trail in your business, you don’t only save a lot of space and cost but you also reduce the amount of Trees that die every year for us humans so we can file some piece of paper away that is never looked at again.

2.       Change your hardware and monitor your energy consumption

Computer hardware and electronics in general have made huge improvements in saving energy over the last few years. With technology like the intelligent energy saving EDU from Asus or the Dynamic Energy Saver from Gigabyte can save you a lot of energy in a year. Also, with turning off your computer when you leave it, you can save a lot of energy. If you are planning to buy new hardware, do something useful with your old hardware; either give it away to Schools or non-profit organizations that need computers or recycle them correctly. Even though there have been a lot of changes within the last few years, many older PC’s have hazardous waste inside. In Europe, regulations for lead-free computing such as RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances) and WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), are designed to reduce the effects of hazardous waste.

Also, look at www.energylens.com it is easy to use and cost effective software that monitors and reduces energy consumption in your company.

3.       Look for green hosting

Carbon neutral hosting is a great thing to do if you really care about the environment and if everybody helps, the cost for green hosting will reduce soon. DreamHost, as an example, already went completely green without charging more for it. Also, using WebClouds rather than dedicated server can reduce the amount of energy that your company is wasting daily.

4.       Recycle and reuse

When I moved to Vancouver, I was amazed on how much less recycling is going on here compared to  Berlin. When I went to Miami in 1999, I was shocked by the fact that there was no system what so ever in place, at least where I was staying, for separating paper from house waste or even glass. By separating and recycling all waste that we have, we can reduce the amount of waste lying around. Did you know that we have the technology to recycle and reuse most of our waste?

How much do you recycle?

5.       Cut your packaging

If you are packaging your products, it cost money and it creates waste. I am sure that if you do a survey with your customers about your packaging, you will see the part of your packaging that is really needed, can you not cut that stupid extra plastic packaging that everybody hates anyway? You could also make sure that you’re sticking out from your competition by using recycled paper for your packaging or maybe you can make your product completely package free by putting it online.


I hope these 5 tips will give you some ideas on how you and your company can save the environment one step at a time. I personally try to never use the free plastic bags from the stores; I think it is shameful to actively destroy our environment as what the big supermarkets are doing. Ask your cashier what they do at the end of the day with all the plastic bags, I think you will be surprised by the answer, I was.

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