Why wait for earth day to do something good for the environment? Believe it or not, it’s easy to protect the environment and still earn a lucrative living. As a virtual assistant, I provide services for several companies and my business is completely paperless. You won’t find stacks of paperwork cluttering my office, my mind, or my productivity! All virtual assistance tasks are performed digitally and eliminate file folders of paperwork I’ll never look at again.
It’s easy to go paperless
30% of all waste that end up in landfills each year comes from paper products such as unwanted mail and catalogs. Paper is more than any other material tossed into landfills! So here is a list of how small to large businesses can reduce the amount they throw away each year:
- Opt for digital and e-catalogs on vendor websites or use a service such Catalog Spree. Mail order catalogs are one of the biggest culprits in landfills today and many never even get looked at!
- Many publications offer digital subscriptions for their magazines, newsletters, trade journals, and newspapers. Take advantage of lower costs and help the environment at the same time.
- For quite some time, banks and credit card issuers have been advocates of paperless statements. Go to their website, register for an account and view recent and archived e-statements at a single click. Your statements are stored electronically in one single location. No more digging through paper files at tax time.
If you are interested in going paperless, we can help you out! Contact us for a consultation to see how we can coach you, your team, or your household about going paperless.
Be sure to back it up
But because my business is paperless, I make sure documents, spreadsheets, etc. are stored on secure back-up systems. I have use a combination of Google Drive, Box.com, and an external hard drive for file storage. In addition, I save password protected zip files on my business server. Depending on the degree of privacy desired for documents like financials, consider copying files to a jump drive or CD and placing them in a safe place such as a fireproof personal safe or safe deposit box.
Turn off the lights, please
Besides eliminating the paper trail, here’s what else businesses and professionals with home offices can do to support the green initiative. A survey conducted by the market research firm, uSamp recently revealed that individuals who telecommute cut down on waste and electricity as part of a survey for TeamViewer. Here’s why: people working from home are more likely to turn off the lights, recycle trash, turn down the heat or AC, etc. to conserve energy.
And why wouldn’t they? People with home offices have a dual interest in being “environmentally friendly” and “pocket-book” friendly. It just goes to show that business owners could learn a thing or two on reducing waste and conserving energy from employees who telecommute. Train employees to treat a business like they own it!
Whether your business is helping the environment by cutting back on paper use, eliminating paper completely, or conserving energy, every day can be Earth day.
About Out of the Office Virtual Assistance:
At Out of the Office, we are committed to providing earth-friendly administration and offer ideas and ways to increase your productivity, decrease your workload, and work more efficiently. We nurture a successful business relationship, while continuing to grow as your business partner. We are focused on streamlining your administration, social media planning and execution, and offering creative solutions for your business success. Join me at the Google+ Virtual Assistants Community to share information and network with like-minded professionals.
Interested in going paperless, contact us for a personalized coaching session!
Image credit: cafepampas | CCO Public Domain