Can Your Small Business Afford to Go Green?

Many small business owners are beginning to ask themselves that very question:  ” Is going green right for my business?”   And the answer is a resounding Yes!    No matter the size or type of business taking a good look at the way your company utilizes resources is beneficial to your future as a business and as a human being living on this planet.  When Ray Sands Glass began to make changes and invest in the plan to be a more environmentally friendly business, we found that these changes were going to save our company some cash in the long run!

A few years ago we had an energy audit to help us get a better idea of how and where our glass shop was using energy – some unnecessarily.   We found that our outdated lighting system was consuming much more electricity than was needed to light our shop.  We then made the decision to finance a new, energy efficient lighting system in our shop and office – which was hugely beneficial to our cause and our business.   The electricity savings of $400 a month paid nearly all of the financing payment, and now that our lights are paid off, that savings can go back into our company.

More recently we decided to invest in a slightly smaller but more fuel efficient van.  We went from 11mpg in our Ford E150 Econoline to 24mpg in our new Ford Transom, which to us means that the gas savings makes up for all but $50 of the payment.  This is not only an investment in a new vehicle, but one that makes our business less vulnerable to fluctuation in gas prices, which is great for anyone!  Investment in your business is the key when considering your energy consumption, because after any financing is paid, your company is still operating more efficiently.

We have also managed to recycle tons upon tons of our Clean Glass, or non-windshield glass, which doesn’t have the plastic laminate that makes windshields safe, but impossible to recycle.  Buyers for clean glass include companies that mix it with aggregate such as asphalt or concrete, where it works as a weather resistant filler agent.  Ground up clean glass is actually what makes road paint reflective, and we have managed to sell a few tons for that purpose as well, which keeps that glass out of the landfill and puts some money back into our pockets!

While the glass recycling may be industry specific, taking a good look at how you use and dispose of resources is always constructive and often profitable for your business.  If  your small business has taken any steps to go green (small or large) and found it mutually beneficial, please share your stories!  Or feel free to ask questions about some of the proactive measure we have taken at Ray Sands Glass.

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