The issue of e-waste is one we all need to face up to, and small businesses are in a position to do more to help the environment and also reduce costs in this context.
If you’re looking for a fresh approach to minimizing e-waste in a flash, here are some tips to consider following in your own organization.
1. Donate Old Equipment
If you own a small business, chances are there’s an abundance of unused tech lying around. Don’t let these items go to waste – donate them instead.
You can give away any gently used equipment like desktop computers, laptops, tables and much more to local good causes, whether that’s schools in your community that need it, youth projects or anything else.
This way not only will you reduce e-waste, but also help out people who may be struggling financially. So long as what you donate is still in good working order, you’ll avoid shipping perfectly serviceable items further afield for recycling or straight-up dumping.
2. Revamp Old Computers With Free, Open Source Software
Putting old computers to work in a different capacity within the organization, rather than shelling out for new hardware, is another wise move.
For instance, by installing a free, open source, lightweight operating system like Linux, you can extend the lifespan of older laptops or desktops, rather than sending them to the scrap heap as soon as the latest Windows update starts to hamper their performance. Not only will this reduce e-waste, but it’ll also save money in the long run.
Also, if your business still relies on outdated first-party programs like Microsoft Office, consider switching to free alternatives like LibreOffice, which offer all the same features for zero cost. You could go the subscription route, of course, but that’s a choice you have to make based on your budget and your needs.
3. Use Call Forwarding to Avoid Buying New Phone Handsets for Employees
With the help of an auto attendant phone system, you can set up a call forwarding so that customers and clients can get in touch with team members wherever they might be.
The latest call forwarding tech means that there’s no need to splash out on new handsets for every employee; instead, calls placed to your business number or to their extension can be automatically routed through to whatever end point makes the most sense. This could be their own mobile handset, another landline off-site, or anything else.
This will also allow you to use the same handset with multiple extensions and even transfer calls between employees if needed.
By taking this approach, you’ll cut down on e-waste while still providing efficient customer service. Plus, it’s much cheaper than investing in expensive hardware that could quickly become outdated or obsolete. And best of all, you can be sure that your customers won’t notice any difference when making calls.
4. Recycle E-Waste Properly and Safely
At some point you’ll need to deal with e-waste that’s no longer viable for in-house operations or for donating externally. When the time comes, recycling is the best option for small businesses.
By taking the time to properly recycle old electronics, you can prevent them from ending up in landfill or being illegally dumped overseas.
To get started, research local waste disposal companies who offer safe and secure methods of disposing of electronic items such as computers or phones – this should be done regularly if your business uses a lot of technology.
Additionally, ensure that all data stored on these devices has been securely wiped before sending them off for processing; this will help protect against potential breaches of privacy which could put your customers at risk.
Finally, don’t forget to keep track of any receipts provided by recyclers so you can prove that proper processes were followed when getting rid of unwanted equipment.