The answer is a resounding Yes!

If you will: Reuse paper printed on one side for drafts and graphics; Use shredded paper for packing; Turn in ink cartridges to Staples for $3.00/ea coupons (use three per purchase).

There are a lot of businesses across the country creating greener enterprises for local communities and the world.

Value of Greening Your Business
Even before the worldwide success of Al Gore´s “An Inconvenient Truth”, an international study about ´green´ or “Cause-Related Marketing” (CRM) reported:

81% of consumers agree that they are more likely to buy a product or service that is associated with a cause they care about.

77% of consumers said “Cause-Related Marketing” positively changed both their behavior to and perception of a company or brand.

67% of consumers think that more companies should be involved in CRM.

Green Business Today

California-based Give Something Back sells business products for less and donates the profits back to the community. Fifteen years and more than $3 million in donations later, over 13,000 customers have chosen Give Something Back leading to their nationwide expansion. Inc. Magazine has named them, above booming internet and broadband organizations, as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America.

Their corporate headquarters is outfitted with a solar roof and stocked with biodegradable cleaning products. Green also means: solar panels, high efficiency lighting and low flow toilets. Plus recycling: paper, batteries, toner cartridges, aluminum cans and cardboard. One of the largest environmentally responsible companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Give Something Back is one of the growing number of enterprises (large and small) certified as a Green Business.

Green Office Products

Give Something Back features recycled products including folders, calendars, pens, and recycled papers that match or beat the quality of virgin-fiber papers. They encourage their customers to continue the green cycle, by participating in their toner cartridge recycling program, and by choosing products that are recyclable or biodegradable. One person can buy office products with recycled content which saves trees and water pollution.

Green Is the Color of Money

In fact, CEO´s in businesses both large and small are realizing that greening their business affects the bottom line in a big way. Oracle Corporation invested $10,000.00 in restroom lighting and sensor upgrades and as a result is saving $100,000.00 each year at one site. The cornerstone of Subaru´s new ad campaign is that their U.S. auto manufacturing plant has been designated a Nature Preserve and creates zero landfill! But, what can one person do to get green?

Turn Electronic Waste into Green in Colorado started with an idea to keep broken and used iPods out of landfills. When founder Brett Mosley’s iPod broke, it dawned on him that there weren’t many eco-friendly or economically rewarding ways to deal with it.

Allison Bliss sees a growing green trend in the clientele of her marketing and communications agency ( Allison is attracting clients that share the same mission as her company: use business to support their community and the planet. For example:
The Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, ( has begun a conversion of their lighting system to the new energy efficient fluorescent lights. Working with PG&E to qualify for a 40 percent rebate on costs, the expectation is that it will take two years before they see big cost savings.

Operations Director, Lisa Kirvin explains: “We want a lighter footprint by incorporating green practices and to set a positive example for our clients since we own our building. Besides, it´s just good business and our supporters are eco-conscientious in their own business practices, too.”

At Locke and Key Executive Search employees are implementing environmentally sound practices at work with green construction. Plus:

Cut back on commuting by walking and biking to run errands.

Get as paperless as possible: when receiving a mailed/faxed resume, they request a soft copy and recycle the original.

They do get bank statements on paper, but all bills are handled online.

Bottom Line Green Benefits

Gain market share by outreach to specific markets through non-profits: Avon sponsoring breast cancer fundraisers.

Enhance distinctive brand image & increasing credibility: Newman´s Own donates over $100 million in profits to charity.

Customers contribute to their community with purchases, while increasing your sales: Give Something Back succeeds with green philanthropy.

Retain and motivate employees: Environmental concerns are a priority at work and home for upcoming generations.

Energize the company mission for corporate social responsibility: These companies´ employees are excited about creating green savings and best practices.

One person at a time, we can make a green difference right now.

Although Kermit the Frog and Ray Charles once sang “It ain´t easy being green”, there are now more environmentally friendly large and small options available than ever before. Do it for you, your family, community and your business!

By Eve Abbott

April 29, 2008