Starting a business comes with a lot to think about. For those who are interested in sustainable, eco-friendly practices, it can seem like being a business owner is more difficult than ever. However, advances in technology have made it possible for more and more people to start a business from home and engage in green practices. E-commerce is a great way to get started. It doesn’t require a physical building that will use utilities and create a carbon footprint. There are several platforms already online that will allow you to sell your goods, or you can start your own website.

Of course, it’s also possible to have a brick-and-mortar store and still engage in sustainable practices. Using recyclable materials and eco-friendly tools–such as energy-efficient light bulbs and appliances–can also help you reach your goal of being a green business. There’s a lot to think about, but by planning now, you can ensure that your new gig or business is beneficial to the planet as well as to your customers.

Create Your E-Commerce Plan

A good e-commerce plan requires some thought. For instance, do you want to start your own website or look for a platform that is ready-made? Building a site from the ground up is complicated and can get expensive. Starting with a platform is quicker and doesn’t require much startup cash. There are many sites to choose from, so do some research to find the one that will work best for your needs.

It’s also a good idea to look into dropshipping. This system allows you to serve your customers through a larger retailer or distributor so you don’t have to keep supplies on hand. This will keep shipping costs down and will ensure that you aren’t left with a lot of overstock. Do some research to find the right company to work with. Pro tip: make sure you’re familiar with their own sustainable practices.

Go Paperless

Many businesses are going paperless these days. Since the rise of smartphones and other tech, most people have access to their email and to the web at all times of the day. Thus, making snail-mail unnecessary and wasteful. You can save quite a bit of money on postage this way as well.

It’s not just mail that can be nixed; you can extend the paperless rule to other areas of your office or home office as well. Another good place to start is by using refillable mugs for your coffee or water and recycled tissue for the bathroom.

Be as Energy Efficient as Possible

Energy efficiency is the cornerstone of sustainability. For a small business, this can mean many things, such as using LED lights that will last several years longer than incandescent bulbs. Try unplugging all your office equipment at the end of the day to prevent phantom power from being used. Make sure to activate sleep settings on your computers.

You can also raise the blinds and use solar power as often as possible. In winter, this will help keep your workspace nice and warm when the sun is shining bright. In warmer months, opening the windows to allow for a cross-breeze will cut down on the air conditioning, saving you money on utilities while reducing your energy use.

Making sure your new gig or business is sustainable will help you save money throughout the year and will keep you looking forward at the same time. This will help you stay on the pulse of your customers and keep them happy. Not only that, it may help you make better choices at home, and green living will allow you to live a sustainable lifestyle for the future.


This article was contributed by Gus Stewart, a fellow Earth and Gardening Enthusiast. You can read more of his work and see what else he is up to on his website