Going Green as a Creative

When you run your own business, it’s important to consider going green as a creative.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

Why you need to go green

Planet Earth is suffering from the damage humans have caused in our short span of time as a species. It is our responsibility to do what we can to help save it. As creative entrepreneurs, we have more of a responsibility because we lead the path for others to follow and learn from. If we want to make sure there is an Earth for future generations to follow their dreams we need to make sure we are living a life and running a business that will leave Mother Earth in a better condition than when we arrived.

What is “going green?”

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So what is “going green?” Going green, or being eco-friendly, is the practice of making sure that the products we use, the business we run, and the goods and services we provide follow sustainable measures to either reduce or completely eliminate our waste from packaging and shrink our carbon footprint. The Middleton Thrall Library has a great guide to help you get started. You don’t have to go off the grid and live out of a tent to go green. There are a lot of simple ways you can make your life and business greener. 

Different ways to go green 

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The most important factor in whether or not something will be done is convenience. For example, taking the extra time to rinse out a bottle stops a lot of people from recycling the container. This means businesses should do things in house to help the environment. Consider changing the process or materials a product is made from, removing the plastic from packaging, and switching to reusable materials whenever possible. 

Obviously, there are things that large businesses and corporations can do that aren’t feasible for small businesses. So what are some things you can do?

  • Changing your lights to LED or other more sustainable options. These reduce the energy used and the number of times they need replacing
  • Unplug your chargers when you’re not using them to reduce the draw of phantom power from them
  • Swap out items you use consistently for reusable or biodegradable options such as homemade cleaners, washable paper towels, and notebooks and writing utensils. 
  • Moving different systems from paper to digitals such as receipts, inventory, and contracts.

There is a whole mess of other things you can do. This is just a short list to get you started.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.

Edward Everett Hale

Items to go green with

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As mentioned above, some of the easiest ways to go green are to just saw out disposable items for reusable ones. Here are some great ones to start out with.

  • Use a refillable water bottle and water filter. Using a reusable water bottle instead of a regular drinking glass means you will always have water with you, the water will stay colder longer, and you won’t have to use as much water to clean it as there is a lid to keep out dust and bugs. If you’re in an area where the water doesn’t taste good or isn’t safe to drink from the tap, a water filtration system will eliminate the need to buy plastic water bottles or jugs of water.
  • Refillable fountain pens. While there are a lot of eco-friendly options for pens on the market, the most eco-friendly pen I have found are fountain pens. Not only can you find many fountain pens without plastic parts, but many brands of ink also come in glass bottles almost completely reducing the waste from writing things down. 
  • Recycled paper notebooks and stationary. If you love to work things out by writing them down, then one of the best things to do is swap out your normal notebooks and paper for recycled ones. The best ones I have found are made without spirals or staples and are 100% biodegradable. You can also look into switching from normal notebooks and planners to disk-bound or ring bound so you can recycle the pages but keep the rest to refill and reuse.
  • Coffee pods. While the disposable coffee pods are definitely the most convenient, there’s so much plastic in them. Instead, look into getting reusable pods and potentially small filters so you can make cleanup easier and use the coffee grounds as compost.

Next steps for going green as a creative

Obviously, this is only a small list of things you can do, but even the smallest actions will make a difference. If anything, the most important part about going green as a creative is to be more aware of how your business effects your customers and the world around you. We only have one Earth and we gotta make it last.