You’re not only contributing to the overall economic well-being of the country, you’re doing your part for the environment, as well.  Last month, Office Depot released its Small Business Index  based on an online survey of 1000 SMBs, which indicated that 61 percent of you actively are trying to go greener and 70 percent anticipate becoming more environmentally conscious over the next two years. 

Office Depot Small Business Index Finds Majority of Small Businesses Trying to “Go Greener”

Recycling – cited by 82 percent of respondents – tops the list as the most popular way for you to become more eco-friendly. Your biggest concern about going green is the cost – 39 percent of you worry how it will impact your bottom line.  Other issues are lack of options (21 percent), concerns about quality (13 percent), lack of clarity (13 percent) and lack of time (11 percent).

To help further your greening efforts, here are some things to consider:

Move to cloud computing:  Many of you already are moving to cloud computing to reduce the cost of IT maintenance and upgrades and to boost your competitiveness (see: “SMBs reaching for the clouds- cloud computing, that is”). If you needed another reason, consider the potential energy cost savings. Based on the fourth annual Energy Efficient IT report from CDW, green blog CleanTechnica concludes, “In particular, cloud computing can directly curb emissions, as well as energy costs associated with maintaining office space, by giving employees the freedom to telecommunicate and remotely access data that is otherwise only available at central locales.”

Lower energy consumption:  Electricity generally tops the list of energy consumption. You can save on electricity by turning off your computer(s) at night. Also, turn off lights during the day when you aren’t using them for 15 minutes or more; set your computer(s) to go to sleep automatically during breaks; and set the thermostat lower by a few degrees in winter and a few degrees higher in summer.  Also switch to Light emitting diode (LED) lights, if you haven’t already; they are more cost effective than compact fluorescent lights (CFL) or incandescent bulbs.

Refurbish office furniture: See if you can refurbish existing office furniture before buying new furniture. If you can’t, look for ergonomically and environmentally sound furniture made from certified sustainable or reclaimed wood and recycled plastics and metals.

When you get down to it, when you get serious about saving the earth, you also save yourself some serious expenses.