Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Hello dear readers! (Don't worry... the vintage Holly Hobbie lunchbox picture will make sense in just a minute). I am going to spare you the details of the madness that is early September here in the Mountains of the Moon studio. Between getting fall orders out, finalizing spring '10 and shooting the look book, planning for fashion weeks (hello Portland Fashion Week and Chicago Fashion Focus!), and the, um, interesting road blocks that always undoubtedly appear, we'll just say that we're all suffering from sleep deprivation around here. This isn't to say we're not incredibly excited about our fall collection, spring collection (sneak peek pics coming soon!), and upcoming fashion shows (more on those in a future post). Trust us, we are. But we're going to take a little break from the fashion world for a few, and share with you some simple tips for how you can create a more eco-friendly business. Because not everything is always JUST about fashion. (Even if deep down, we kind of think it is. I'm just sayin'...).
This post was (written by your's truly) originally appeared on Intuit's (maker of QuickBooks) Small Business United Blog on September 1st. Even if you're not a business owner, these tips can still be applied to your work routine. We hope you like.
5 Simple Ways to Green Your Business
As the owner of an eco-friendly fashion label, running a green company is one of my top priorities. At Mountains of the Moon, we use only sustainable fabrics in our designs, produce locally with a fair wage manufacturer, donate to several environmental organizations, and work to create earth-conscious workspaces. But how can entrepreneurs in other industries find ways to green their companies without investing excessive amounts of precious time or money? It’s easier than you think, and your efforts to save the planet may just end up saving you some cash as well.
1. Say bye-bye to paper communication. Email. Efax. Text messages. Skype. Twitter. Facebook. And oh yeah - the phone. We’ve all heard the facts and figures about the destructive deforestation and massive resource waste that results from paper manufacturing. Encourage electronic communication, and if you must use paper, choose 100% recycled and print on both sides.
2. At the end of the day, turn it off. Take an extra 10 seconds to shut down your computer, unplug your printer and other electronic items, and turn off the (LED, please) lights. Wait for your reduced energy bill to arrive (paperless, of course). Repeat.
3. Green your office supplies. Today, there are countless companies producing eco-friendly office supplies, from recycled, soy-based ink pens to green shipping supplies. Even better, re-use. Mountains of the Moon ships all of our seasonal collection orders to boutiques in good, old-fashioned reused boxes (and we never use unnecessary tissue or packing peanuts).
4. Love your lunch box. As a child of the ’80s, there was almost nothing as beloved as my trusty powder blue Holly Hobbie lunchbox. Skip the wasteful take-out and delivery containers and bring your lunch to work. It’s healthier (go for locally grown and organic foods), less expensive, and as long as you’re using reusable containers, better for the planet.
5. Stay home. Nearly 40 million (and growing) Americans today telecommute (work from home), including your's truly and my wonderful staff. Not only does telecommuting save your business money and increase employee productivity and morale, it drastically reduces the carbon footprint created from traveling to the workplace. Tip: If you are considering this option for your company, create a virtual office platform in advance (see #1).
Melissa Baswell is the owner of Chicago-based eco-friendly clothing label Mountains of the Moon and a first place winner of the Intuit Small Business United grant competition. In her not-so-free time, she enjoys live music, traveling the world, and all things eco-fashion.