Why Blogs Are A Green Option For Business Owners


Environmental issues are big business these days, as companies all over the world accept their part in reducing carbon emissions and minimising the impact which their business operations have upon the environment around them.

Wherever you look, it seems that there are sites popping up offering advice and guidance about how to conduct business ethically, making the shift from being a small business owner to a mini pioneer of green issues and environmental awareness.

It may seem to you that the small business owner has little to offer when it comes to being green, but this is actually far from being the case.

We all know that each of us have an individual impact upon the world we live in, in terms of being ‘green’, but in today’s ethical trading environment we actually hold much more sway than we realise.

When we work in large organisations, it seems that there are already a number of practices in place which pay lip service to green behaviours, even though it can be frustrating to see how much more these powerful corporations and companies can do to make a real difference.

Paper shredding and recycling, IT and software safe disposal, rubbish sorting and some commitment to saving power are all standard practices adopted by large corporations to reduce the overall impact which trade has upon the environment, and save costs at the same time.

However, as a small business owner we may feel that we have neither the capacity nor the resource to adopt similar measures, on a small or domestic scale.

Why bother being green?

If you have ever filled out a business bid, tender or proposal for the public sector, you’ll soon realise just how much store is set on green business practices and operation by the organisations that you are bidding to.

Local councils and other established firms have a huge responsibility to secure the services of ethical partners and preferred service providers who can actively demonstrate that they are fully compliant with the latest legislation on environmental best practice.

More and more, becoming an environmentally-conscious organisation (even as a small business owner or sole trader) is something which is required by law rather than simply a ‘nice to have’. Whether you are looking to expand your enterprise in the future or stay as you are, there are a number of benefits to be had from laying the foundation for sound environmental practices now.

Being aware of green issues and how they will affect your business is critical for people looking to establish sound practices when dealing with other companies, both within the public sector and beyond. 2010 has been a big year for government legislation relating to the environment for businesses, and staying ahead of requirements is not just advisable, but can prevent you and your business being penalised for non-compliance.

Because of this, being ‘green’ is now mandatory rather than simply preferable as a strategy, moving forward.

What are the benefits of green business practices?

Staying ahead of green issues as a small business owner is not only advisable when it comes to attracting customers, but also a good way of saving money for yourself and your business. While it may seem daunting to recycle, buy ethically-sourced products or operate to a stringent set of environmental standards, in fact it can support you to cut costs and reduce waste in the long run.

Power-saving devices which cut off unused gadgets and machinery, sourcing from fellow environmentally-aware businesses and operating according to ethical principles will actually save your business money in the long run.

In addition, the investment which you make now can support you to generate future work, sales and customers as those clients whom you work with on a regular basis can feel confident that they are sourcing from a reliable and ethical provider.

How can blogging save the planet?

As one of the most environmentally-friendly marketing vehicles we have, blogging is a superb way of communicating with the minimal carbon footprint. Online rather than paper-based, and accessible enough that readers don’t need to print, a blog provides a wealth of information without impacting the environment in any way.

Great blogs present content in bite-sized chunks, making it easy for readers to access it without printing, and RSS feeds provide an ideal way of keeping customers informed without resorting to paper-based marketing avenues.

Put simply, a blog is a no-impact way of marketing and communicating to people without the need for expensive resources which negatively impact the environment.

What else can we do?

As bloggers, we don’t just have to stop at using our blogs for communication in order to benefit the environment. We can also keep up to date with the latest legislation, and make sure that we follow the guidelines for ethical working practices within our business.

Recycling resources including IT hardware and printer cartridges, sourcing services from organisations who have a firm stance on environmental legislation and operate accordingly, and vetting potential suppliers for ethical working practices all support us to be green business owners.

Businesses looking to cement their commitment to reducing their carbon footprint can gain an independent evaluation from an environmental assessor to identify new ways of cutting costs and enhancing our green best practice.

A number of organisations will offer the initial assessment for free.

Following that, it is a relatively simple process to gain ISO accreditation for environmental best practice. Having an ISO certificate demonstrates clearly to those people who secure your services that you are an ethical trader, and supports you in making bids for business within both the public and private sectors. ISO 14001 is an internationally-accepted standard that sets out how you can go about putting in place an effective Environmental Management System (EMS).

An effective EMS supports you to stay ahead of government guidelines for being green, and will ultimately help you to reduce costs, cut carbon emissions and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to saving the planet, one blog post at a time.

What would you add?

What are you doing to make your business green?


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41 Responses to Why Blogs Are A Green Option For Business Owners

  1. Julia Hayes January 14, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    Really good research for this article – you haven’t confined it to the most obvious re-cycling paper and plastic, but suggested going pro-actively for ISO certification. It’s the future. This is a good prompt and an interesting link to blogging.

    Things are changing. It’s not so long ago that the idea of charging for plastic bags sent our public into a tailspin, but as soon as IKEA and other hyper-markets took a stand, it became acceptable practice.

    Our recent office re-fit of a 1980’s building was done to high environmental standards – we considered the building’s orientation to the sun, window coverings, insulation and used non-toxic fabric coatings, water-based varnishes and environmental paints. The result is an office that just ‘feels’ great. Everyone comments on it. Having fresh air keeps it healthier too.

    Being Australia, we have hot summers, but by opening windows each night (ok, it’s a bit tedious to do it) the building is cooled and ready for the next day. We keep a/c use to a minimum by using ceiling fans. There are individual a/c controls in each office so if the office is empty, the switch is off – and at 6pm there’s an auto cut-off override. We call them ‘eco-offices’ – there’s a 2min video on our blogsite.

    Running air-conditioning in the middle of the day puts great demand on the power stations – the bigger the peak demand, the bigger we build the power stations to cope with ‘peak load’. The bigger the power stations, the more greenhouse gases we create in the world. Sorry to say, but we Australians are the No.1 polluters per head of population in the world.

    So bloggers – continue to work on those blogs at night, and keep the peak load down. That will do more than you can imagine to help control greenhouse gases.


    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:28 am #


      The office sounds perfect and well worth effort of the investment of time and money.

      I watched the video – looks really smart as well.

      Do you think other offices in that area will follow suit?


      • Julia Hayes January 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

        Hi Andrew,
        Thanks for looking at the video.
        Re other offices going eco – yes, once someone experiences the difference they often incorporate changes in their next re-fit. Even our builder has now decided to concentrate only on eco design – he can see the growth in the niche. Julia

        • Andrew January 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm #


          …perhaps you should start having open days for other offices to visit!


          • Julia Hayes January 18, 2011 at 7:31 am #

            Oh NO ! That’s too big an ask. We already have renewable energy student architects and homeowners streaming through our solar passive house (it’s won some awards). My office is my sanctuary.

  2. painting holidays January 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm #

    I can’t stress enought the importance for a small business in being green. There are so many problems in the future to encounter and you may as well start early and eliminate these problems. Also, it is beneficial to the environment and that is always a good thing. Get blogging. Thanks for the post.

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:30 am #

      I agree – we all need to do our own little bit!


  3. Pete Carr January 14, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Hi Andrew,
    I have been blogging for 2 years, I have never even thought of blogging as environmentally friendly. Shows how backward I am.
    I can now tell everyone my business is the most environmental business there is. How good is that.

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:15 am #


      As long as you follow some of the suggestions!


  4. TrafficColeman January 14, 2011 at 1:22 pm #

    I think to have heard it all now..blogging for green..I like they way that sounds and that should be the mode for 2011.

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:20 am #

      Yeah – why not…if we all do our bit!


  5. Evan January 14, 2011 at 10:06 pm #

    To be greener the first step is to do whatever you can, if in any way possible, get rid of the car. This is the biggest thing by a very long way. (I realise that for parents and those not in major cities this can be impossible).

    Then there is insulation (and other good design) to minimise heating and cooling. If you are building something you can save great amounts of money by having a good design. Some city design guidelines can make designing with orientation in mind impossible.

    After this there are a million things. Green power, checking the energy ratings on consumer appliances, eating out less, buying fewer things . . . The possibilities are endless.

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:38 am #


      Very true!

      In comparison, the things I mention that help are not so beneficial but possibly easier to implement.



  6. Jane January 14, 2011 at 4:12 pm #

    Thank you so much for mentioning blogging for green. We are fortunate at Bright Green Leadership to only work with green and sustainable businesses and we constantly tell them to be out on the web and evangelize their brand and passion. This is truly an area that can make global changes one voice at a time.

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:31 am #


      Do you find that they listen to your advice?


      • Jane January 15, 2011 at 4:44 pm #


        I am sure you are not surprised with this answer…some of our clients are fantastic with blogging. They get it and evangelize all the time. Others are just too busy and cannot make the time to do it. They are passionate about their cause, but feel that their current ways of evangelizing (lectures, face to face, etc.) is their value. There is such a larger audience online and it is measurable, so we will continue to push this as a solution.

        • Andrew January 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm #


          I suppose the perfect situaiton is to get the balance right between the 2 – blogging and face to face.


  7. Patricia January 15, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    Hi Andrew

    Love it. The fact that people are becoming more environmentally aware is great. I only sell products in my estore that are natural and chemical free. Have been encouraging anyone who would listen that an organic lifestyle is healthy and now I find out that my blogging efforts are green too. Sweet. 🙂

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:39 am #


      You must sell more of your products as a result – yes?


  8. Dr Natura January 15, 2011 at 2:21 am #

    I think being green not only saves businesses money, but it can be good for PR too. If you tell people you’re green, it’ll give ppl a good public perception of your company, and more added business in the long run.

    • Jane January 15, 2011 at 2:43 am #

      You are so correct! The issue that businesses have to be careful about though is “Green Washing”. Consumers are becoming very wary about companies that say they are “green certified” but then you find out that they paid for this certification. We have come across a company call the Green Business Bureau (www.gbb.org) that has their client go through a step by step process to become certified.

      So, while it is good PR, be wary!

      • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:41 am #


        Thanks for sharing that crucial piece of advice.


  9. Debbie January 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Sound real good to me. Never did look at it this way. Thank you very much for bring this to my attention. It really makes me happy knowing I am helping save the planet. COOL!!
    Thanks Andrew,

    • Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:34 am #


      Not only are you saving the planet…you are helping the people on it…with all your happy relationships advice!


      • Debbie January 15, 2011 at 11:56 pm #

        How sweet of you Andrew, thanks and you make me blush.I do feel that good relationships are very important and when we have them one does find happiness in so many ways.

  10. Andrew January 15, 2011 at 7:33 am #


    It is simple really…don’t your think?

    Us bloggers are doing our little bit to help the environment…but we can do more.


  11. Jeff Zickgraf January 15, 2011 at 5:45 pm #

    I would not say that blogging has no impact on the environment, those servers take energy and there can be some nasty things that go into server equipment but as you note – it is a lower impact. Certainly lower than printing and mass mailing out your message. There are some hosting companies offering no carbon impact hosting – search for green hosting if people are interested.

    As Evan (@evanhadkins) noted, just start out doing something to reduce your footprint and you will start to notice other areas where you can reduce, reuse and recycle. My wife and I have completely eliminated using toxic chemicals to clean – we now just use vinegar, essential oil, and water in a squirt bottle and it works great and cost less! Instead of buying throw away cleaning towels, we use microfiber dusting clothes and rags made from old clothes.

    I’m always disturbed by my coworkers who don’t remember to turn their monitors off at work and throw away recyclable materials when the recycle bin is sitting right next to the garbage can. I try to fix by turning them off for them and moving their waste to the appropriate bin.

    Thanks for the article and I hope more people become aware that their actions really can make a difference.

    • Andrew January 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm #


      When I worked in the corporate world, I would often go around turning off monitors as well!

      I also feel great when I recycle things.

      One of the things I have struggled to recycle is printer cartridges.

      I recently bundled all my used ones up recently and took them to the local print toner shop…hoping they would know how to recycle.

      They didn’t. They said I should just dump them.


      • Julia Hayes January 17, 2011 at 4:31 am #

        Hi Andrew,

        Don’t you have an equivalent of PLANET ARK in UK? Pat Cash was their spokesman in Australia. website http://www.planetark.com/) They’ve established links with local post offices – we can drop off our print toner cartridges for re-cycling. We also have companies that refill the inks and toners. Pretty good quality even though my HP printer quietly squawks when I put a refill in.

        For any of your Aussie readers Planet Ark website offers the following:

        ‘To find information about the recycling and waste services offered by your council as well as local drop off options for items including batteries, car batteries, computers, printer cartridges, mobile phones and many more use the Search function on this page. Or call the RecyclingNearYou Hotline on 1300 733 712

        • Andrew January 18, 2011 at 6:53 pm #


          I’m not aware of an equivalent.

          Plus my print cartridges were the type that could not be refilled – for some reason!


  12. pravakar January 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm #

    If more people “Go for the Green Option” in their daily work life, the positive benefits will multiply. Start by making more personal decisions with the environment in mind. Then help increase awareness by spreading the word to your colleagues, teams, bosses, suppliers and customers. It all adds up!

    • Andrew January 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm #


      Spreadin the word is what it is all about.


  13. Matt January 16, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    Blogging is a great way to communicate in a green efficient way. I love the idea of being part of a solution and not a part of the problem. Each one of us needs to help.

    • Andrew January 16, 2011 at 5:59 pm #


      …and us bloggers cna help. We just have to think about it a bit more…and share the news…get the word out.


  14. Alex January 16, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    Hey Andrew,

    I know that hostgator is a green company so I am definitely being green, well at least with some of my websites.

    But in essence every piece of information, being on a green server or just a normal server is saving the world, just a little step at a time, by conserving the need of paper thus saving whole forest, which in turn produce oxygen, which in turn by certain circumstances transforms in ozone which saves us from the deadly “death ray” ultraviolate radiations and (because it lowers the CO2 percentage from the atmosphere) it slows the greenhouse-gas effect.

    I hope I am doing my best to save the planet and make it livable for my grandchildren and beyond.

    • Andrew January 18, 2011 at 6:59 pm #


      If we all do our little bit…we will save the planet!


  15. Vickie January 17, 2011 at 2:52 pm #

    Hello Andrew

    Everything we can do to help the planet is so important. Inside businesses and homes people are working together to help lower their footprint. This article really shed some light for me. I blog because I love it, I never realized how that is helping to make a cleaner world. I think businesses and people have a responsibility to environmental issues. This post is a great reminder that we have more power to help then we realize.

    thank you


    • Andrew January 18, 2011 at 7:00 pm #


      Do you think you may do something differently as a result?


  16. MicroSourcing January 18, 2011 at 6:41 am #

    This article makes a good point on blogging and it capacity to be an environmentally-friendly way of communicating. Going green should be easier for small business as opposed to large ones, because energy consumption is more controllable.

    • Andrew January 18, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

      True…but the larger ones can save a lot, lot more.



  1. Tweets that mention Small Business Owners: Why Blogs Are A Green Option - January 14, 2011

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