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As entrepreneurs, we’re in a unique position to make positive change – we can not only learn how to be a green entrepreneur, we can live and model it for our clients and friends.

Why bother to be a “green” leader?

Because we’re building empires, right? More than most, we’re building something out of nothing. As entrepreneurs we use our blood, sweat, and tears to create thriving businesses. To be frank, all that hard work, and non of our success matter if the Earth is dead.

Being a green entrepreneur is easy. And fun. And if you’re just beginning to step into leadership, it’s an easy way to do so.

Here are 7 easy things you can do to go green as an entrepreneur.

1. Source green energy in your home.

Since many of us work from home, one of the best (and easiest) things we can do is to change our electricity sourcing to be green, renewable energy.

Two years ago, I asked for this for my birthday, assuming it would be more expensive than the fossil-fuel-laden energy that was currently being sent to my home.

Guess what? It turned out to be CHEAPER!

It had never occurred to me that coal-burning power plants were creating the energy that was being sent to my home until a mailer from another energy company arrived at my home and made it clear.

I tried to dig up the average percentage of different fuel sources for my state’s standard energy service (the default any new user is on unless they intentionally switch to a green provider) and the information is annoyingly, deceptively difficult to track down.

We were able to locate this document from 20111 showing 23% coal and 6% oil. Only 5% renewable and alternative.

Now we source our energy from 100% green renewable sources and we pay LESS per kWh. Here’s an actual screenshot from our electric bill:

Use green, clean energy AND save money? YAS!

2. Use recycled material in your promotional products.

Many of our business are primarily online, but we often have business cards and other materials that can be printed on recyclable material. I made my last batch of business cards out of recycled paper.

Yes, the cards look a little different, but I decided that that was a badge of honor for me. I’m okay with my cards looking a little different if it means I’m helping the planet. And most of my tribe gets that, too.

On the left, a standard business card. On the right, made from 100% recycled paper. Less glossy, a little more earthy-looking. And I’m okay with that.

3. Be a leader.

Make being green a part of your brand. Decide that it’s something important enough for you to talk about on your platform. – similar to the way I’m doing now.

An example is our branded post cards. Not only do we print our post cards on recyclable material, but we tell people that we print on recycled material.

Sharing that you are green is the next step up from being green. By sharing we give others the idea to do the same and empower them to make being green a part of their brand as well.

4. Eat lunch in.

While going out for lunch can be a real temptation as a work-from-home solopreneur, especially when I’ve been doing grindy work at the computer all day. Eating out can feel like sunshine, human interaction, and that feeling of getting a treat.

However, there are some real downsides to eating lunch out. Aside from the packaging that is involved with many fast food restaurants, [any stats on this?] eating lunch out can take a significant amount of time. Since I have limited amount of time to work each day, (the hours between when my daughter’s school bus picks her up and drops her off), the extra time I might take eating lunch out can really cut into my day. A nice sit-down meal can take an hour, and even fast food requires a 15-20 minute drive, waiting in line, and a 15-20 minute drive home, then eating.

My suggestion: reserve eating lunch out for very special occasions and make lunch for yourself at home. This saves you time in your workday, and is more cost-effective than eating out. It also reduces your carbon footprint from driving (unless you have an electric car).

The most efficient and healthiest option I have found is to make meals ahead and freeze them. I love these White Bean and Avocado Burritos from Ceara’s Kitchen and this Quinoa Enchilada Casserole from Damn Delicious. Both freeze and reheat really well. Pop them in these glass containers and you’ve got individually prepared meals that are healthy, delicious, and good for the planet.

For more lunch ideas for female entrepreneurs, click here.

5. Dabble in veganism.

A day of veganism saves:

  • 1100 gallons of water
  • 30 square feet of forest
  • 1 animal life
  • 40 lbs of grain
  • and 20 lbs of carbon dioxide

…and eating vegan is easier than you think! For vegan meal plans, check out FemSister Brigitte Gemme’s Vegan Family Kitchen.

6. Organize a neighborhood cleanup.

This is a great way to practice your leadership skills and get known in your community. And it’s easy enough. Pick a date and a meeting spot, and decide what you want your community to do. Post the event on local Facebook communities, the NextDoor App, and Buy Nothing groups, and see who shows up! You can even add on a potluck after. This is a great way to meet others you might not usually meet and to build a sense of community.

Bonus: anyone who shows up to your event will likely have the same Earth-friendly values as you and so you’ll already have something in common with them!

7. Treat yo’self.

Having a thriving business and the abundance to buy the things we value and love is one of the reasons we do this, right?

For me that means a beautiful, clean, zero-carbon emitting machine to take me and my family from place to place. Isn’t she beautiful? I don’t own one yet, but plan for a Tesla to be my next car. Seeing Teslas driving around makes me so happy.

And let’s consider Elon Musk for a second.

I mean, an entrepreneur who’s crazy enough to defy all odds and birth an entire new breed of mass-produced electric vehicles, changing the future of humanity and the planet?! I mean, yes.

All the yeses.

Elon is trepspo for sure.

So if and when you can, my final tip for being green is to invest in a green vehicle. It doesn’t have to be Tesla, but something electric that will reduce your carbon footprint.

In closing – it’s easy to take baby steps and go green as an entrepreneur, and it can even save you money. What steps will you take? What other ways can you be a green entrepreneur?