Real World Ways Your Small Business Can Be Green, with Examples from LazerDesigns

At LazerDesigns, we believe in stewarding our resources for the good of our people, our community and our world. What can a small business do to make a difference and have a positive impact? How can your company be "green" and create sustainability? Here's a few real-world examples from LazerDesigns.

1. Redeem Boxes - Now THAT'S recycling, reusing what you can

At LazerDesigns, we see over 25,000 boxes come in and out our doors as we fulfill orders. That's a lot of boxes! Through our Redeemed Boxes program, we re-tape, relabel, and reuse shipping boxes that are still structurally sound. This is real recycling - no energy spent to break it down, clean it, and recreate it. This also saves us and our customers thousands of dollars a year! This is savings we pass on through our competitive prices. Of course, what we cannot reuse, we recycle.

2. Install LED Lighting

While LED lighting is still expensive (though prices are coming down), rebates from energy companies are encouraging businesses to bring down the energy consumption. Why are LED lights greener?
  1. Lower power consumption
  2. Create less heat, lowering your AC bill
  3. No toxic mercury (though they do contain nickle, lead, arsenic)
  4. More than 95% of LED lighting is recyclable
Does installing LED lighting in your business makes sense? Here's how it broke down for us:
  • We needed to retrofit our lighting from an old, outdated bulb type, so we had to upgrade to a newer, more energy efficient lighting type
  • Retrofitting to newer T8 and T5 was expensive, but so is LED
  • When comparing retrofitting with LED lighting, LED lighting was actually lower cost than T8 or T5
  • Add in the lower energy cost of LED lighting+ energy rebate, and the winner is LED
Plus, LED Lighting does look better!
Before LED lighting upgrade

Part of our warehouse before LED lighting upgrade

After LED Lighting upgrade

After LED Lighting upgrade

3. Go as Paperless as possible

Whenever possible, we email documents. We've invested in an up-to-date paperless system for our customers. We don't do much faxing (that's so 90's. Or 80's). With digital signing, long agreements don't need to be printed.

4. Reuse clean packing supplies

Packing paper, peanuts, air bubbles -- it can all be reused multiple times. Instead of throwing it away, we reuse it. Other idea: Use newspaper to pack boxes (we don't do this, but some of our vendors do) How does your business reuse, recycle and redeem resources?  
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