Access to information and resources that help small businesses become environmentally friendlier keeps getting easier.
A growing array of websites are offering businesses help reducing their environmental footprint – or at least providing some guidance and information to do it themselves.
Here are five websites worth at least checking out:
Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency – Want to know what incentives government or your utility company offers your business for installing an energy-efficient heating system or putting solar panels on the roof? This site provides a comprehensive, yet easy-to-use, national database of incentives for taking steps to save energy.
GreenBiz – Read up on the latest trends in sustainable business practices and see what successful practices other companies, large and small, are employing. GreenBiz.com is a clearinghouse of news, advice and resources that keeps the pulse of green business.
Freecycle – Another way to reduce your environmental toll is buying used equipment and office products, or at least reselling or giving away your old equipment once it’s no longer needed. Freecycle is an online community that helps businesses find other businesses in their area to swap with.
CarbonFund – Businesses create pollution in a variety of ways, from car travel to manufacturing and transporting products. One possible way to counteract that environmental impact is buying so-called carbon offsets – essentially spending money to put toward projects that improve the environment. CarbonFund, a nonprofit based in Washington D.C. , sells businesses offsets and then puts the money toward earth-friendly projects of the business’s choosing, such as reforestation or renewable-energy production. CarbonFund estimates that a business with six to 10 employees creates 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year and suggests it buy $700 in offsets. But the organization’s Web site also offers a business carbon calculator so businesses can try and estimate their actual emissions to purchase offsets for.
PlanetReuse – Need to make a renovation or remodel your offices? PlanetReuse allows business owners to find and buy salvaged building materials – from flooring to furniture. The cost can be less than half that of buying new constructions materials. The site lets you place a “free materials request” or browse recent offerings.