3 Simple Ways To Make Your Business More Eco-Friendly

I’ve always prided myself on running an environmentally friendly business. In the early days that meant small things like running a paperless office and avoiding unnecessary packaging.

In more recent years the scale of the climate emergency has prompted me to evaluate my business decisions more deeply. Avoiding plastic straws is no longer enough to protect our children’s future. So I’ve been looking for bigger ways to have an impact in the day to day operations of my business, and I know many doulas are very conscious of their impact on people and planet so thought you might like to make similar changes in your business.

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Money

Market Forces is an Australian organisation that exposes the institutions that are financing environmentally destructive projects. Unfortunately, Australia’s big four banks continue to play a critical role in supporting the fossil fuel industry, but lucky for you it’s pretty easy to find out who and switch banks.

All you need to do is to visit the Market Forces Bank Comparison Table and check if your bank is in the red column or the green column. 

If your bank is in the red column you can click a link to send them an email to either “tell them to stop” or “put them on notice.” If you aren’t happy with their response to choose a bank from the green column and switch.

If your bank is in the green column you can click to “thank them.”

You can do the same thing with your superannuation here and check on your insurance here.

It may seem like a small thing, but if Australians move only 7.7% of our superannuation into renewable energy, we can create a 100% renewable future and it will be the end of fossil fuels in Australia.

Electricity

Even when you are busy with clients much of your doula work will involve computers, smartphones and other power-hungry devices. If you have the option to install solar panels then go for it. Solar prices are coming down fast in Australia, and even if you are renting (like me) you may be able to take your solar panels with you if you have to move house! Get a price comparison on solar panels here.

If not then visit the Green Electricity Guide, choose your state and see if there is a better-rated energy provider that you can switch to.

Where I live in Perth we only have one energy provider and it is poorly rated. I’ve contacted them to complain, and I’ve logged in to my account and switched to 100% Green Power. The GreenPower Program is a government-managed scheme that enables Australian households and businesses to displace their electricity usage with certified renewable energy, which is added to the grid on their behalf. 

Since 2009 more than $500 million has been invested back to generators through GreenPower purchases. I checked on my recent electricity bill and it only cost us an extra $1.73.

Air Travel

Lately, I’ve been deeply inspired by Greta Thunberg and I realised I want to be Greta when I grow up. 

Then I realised I am grown up, so I’d better hurry! 

When Greta Thunberg quit aeroplane travel I thought I should look more into this, and when I learned about the impact of the aviation industry I was shocked that no one is talking about this.

Whilst aviation is not the largest emitting industry it is the fastest growing. If aviation growth continues it could contribute over a quarter of the world's carbon budget by 2050. Flying also emits carbon into the upper atmosphere where it can stick around longer and do more damage than it would closer to the ground. Not flying is one of the top three things individuals can do to reduce their carbon footprint.

And if you’ve ever wondered why air travel is so cheap it’s because they don’t pay any taxes on their fuel, so whilst train travel and car travel gets more expensive, flying doesn’t.

I live in the most isolated capital city in the world and since I have family in Melbourne, India, Brasil and England it’s difficult for me to quit flying altogether. But I can quit flying for my business and that’s a great start.

This will mean decreased opportunities for my career. It means I can’t go to international conferences, or teach in Bali with Debra Pascali-Bonaro and Robin Lim or apply to speak at TED 2020 in Vancouver. But it feels like it’s a price I’m very happy to pay.

The benefits of not flying are not only for the environment. It will also save me money, and mean I get to spend more time with my family. As an introvert and nature lover, I can spend more time at home, in my garden, hiking and camping. And as a Vata person air travel has always been very unbalancing for me! I feel it will also improve my health and quality of life, in the same way, that the slow living movement does.

Learn more about what you can do about the aviation industry here.

What changes can you make in your business to have a better impact on people and the planet and ensure a safe climate for our children?