Going green — everyone should
have it as a New Year’s resolution this year, especially we business owners who rely on energy-hungry products and practices to run our businesses on a daily basis. There have been many articles and blogs on the topic. However, it’s a new year again and that’s a great reason to start thinking and implementing ways to live and work greener. This really is an important topic, and it really is a big deal in more ways than just one.
For the most part, a good number of business owners have already implemented ways of going green — without even realizing it! We’ve done so in part because we have all felt the impact of a bad economy in some way or another. Office supplies are more expensive, the price of gasoline makes us cringe, and even the cost of postage has jumped on the bandwagon. And added salt in that wound, our customers just aren’t spending as much as they once were. This has left many business owners desperately looking for ways to save some green.
We’ve started saving money by refilling our ink cartridges. We’re cutting down on our paper cost by printing on both sides of the paper. And we’ve trained ourselves to turn off equipment when it’s not in use. These practices not only help us save some green, but they are green practices — wow, win-win!
But did you know that partnering with a virtual assistant can get your company on its way to going even greener?
I’ve read several great articles recently on going green, and to my delight, many of them mention the impact virtual assistants have on green efforts worldwide. For instance, most virtual assistants rely on electronic communication and electronic file management versus conventional paper correspondence, etc. This has a huge positive impact on the environment. It saves paper, hence saving trees — which is wonderful! But I’m not sure everyone has heard of the two key points that I came across that truly did surprise me.
Taryn Merrick of Merrick Management and Media Services wrote an article that keyed in on the fact that virtual assistants don’t drive to work everyday. You see, virtual assistants typically work out of their homes. Fewer cars on the road reduce pollutants and emissions, not to mention gas consumption. And less gas consumption translates into less fossil fuel consumption. Bravo!
I would have never thought of this one — the virtual assistant’s wardrobe. Because virtual assistants work out of their homes, there’s less need to have that fancy business attire dry cleaned. As noted in a blog posted by MurphyAssistants, virtual assistants typically are dressed in casual clothes, and that translates into less dry-cleaning solvents being flushed into the wastewater. This was a great point to bring to our attention. Thank you! Bravo, bravo!
And finally, have you considered the fact that virtual assistants use less energy than a conventional assistant? In general, virtual assistants complete a project for a client much more efficiently than an in-house secretary. Why? We don’t have the distractions of a busy office setting. When we are working on a project, we are focused solely on that project with little or no distractions. Once the project is completed, our computers and other office equipment are turned off — no wasted energy!
Recap — virtual assistants work in their own homes. No gossip time and no lunch hours or breaks when the computer and office systems are left running, not to mention an air conditioner or a heater. What this all boils down to is that going “virtual” will rid you of the energy consumption and costs of cooling, heating, and running all that equipment for eight hours a day.
It is possible to rid yourself of that outrageous utility bill, not to mention the waste of precious resources during gossip or break times. It is possible by making a conscious commitment to rely on an efficient and energy, paper conscious virtual assistant. Bravissimo!
Bottom line here is that we all should be thinking of ways to save our planet especially for our children, grandchildren, and — well, you get my point. And what’s so fascinating, is that it can really be so simple when it comes to our business practices. In most cases, not only will you be contributing to making our planet greener, but your company will benefit by keeping some of that green where it belongs — with you!
If you would like more information on going green, please visit the Go Green Initiative at www.gogreeninitiative.org and World Watch Institute at www.worldwatch.org.
Please do let me know if I have misrepresented any information.