By Ange Defosse, Creator of Harlowe Green
You’ve worked hard to build your business, and the last few years have proven that to operate during these wild times, adaptation is the key to being able to stay afloat and (hopefully!) thrive. Many in our industry are becoming fatigued at the thought of new pivots, procedures, changes, and in general with the ever-evolving landscape that is business right now.
An emerging trend asking individuals, businesses and operators to shift quickly is the sustainability sphere - and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
More and more customers and clients are demanding sustainable practices and the businesses who’ve shifted are demonstrating a new standard of operations. We know that more than ever, we need to make changes across the board - in our own lives, and those at work.
So, how can we approach making changes to our business and our lifestyles, yet again, after so much change within the last few years, in an area that may seem overwhelming to get started with? When it comes to shifting our processes and procedures, it can be a foggy path forward and that path also seems to be rife with greenwashing, decisions that seem to require an immense amount of knowledge and consideration, and the crossover is significant in terms of other areas of impact.
These changes are important, but they also affect your bottom line and your limited time and energy for implementing change, staff training and customer education.
Getting Started with Making Sustainable Changes
Often, and in most cases for big changes, getting started can be the hardest part. Here are a few pieces of advice to give you an avenue to begin these changes, big or small.
1. Shift Beyond the Mindset of Perfection
It is so common for many that considering any kind of change feels overwhelming and futile in the face of the laundry list of to-dos that loom at the starting line. Considering just how much plastic exists in the whole scope of your home or business all at once can make trying to change one thing at a time seem silly.
Just remember that no one can get it right straight away, or even be able to afford that. Looking at one area or aspect of change at a time reaps more rewards by the end of the year than burning out at the get-go.
2. Enlist Help
The realm of green and eco-living can be intense, and you may feel like there is too much to know. You’re already an expert in your business and shouldn’t that be enough? Of course! Enlisting the help of others who have and can do the research for you about best practices in your business is a best practice in itself.
Our webinar will provide some areas to find more help, offload the research and work, and you may already have members of your team or circle with an understanding of your business with great ideas to get started. Working within a community for long term change has a higher staying power than going it alone, gets the job done, and cuts off the need for you to know absolutely everything yourself.
3. Start with the Easiest Things First
Usually, the simplest things are different for every person and every business, and that’s the beauty of this tip - just do the easiest things first! Once momentum builds and you can see the power behind the shifts, approaching the harder habit changes and more intense learning/relearning processes becomes more manageable, as there are fewer things to tackle overall, and you’ve built some confidence.
This tip goes hand in hand with dropping the perfectionist mindset, as it makes way for the opportunity to fail, reflect, adapt and simplify things in a way that best suits you - you choose where to start first and where to go next.
4. Try a Waste Audit at Home or in your Business
It can be tough to provide a blanket tip or ‘swap’ that can fit every individual out there, but the more of us who begin working on this in our own ways, the more achievable change becomes. But, what happens when you don’t know what’s easiest or best for you to tackle first to achieve the greatest impact?
A waste audit can provide a snapshot of where you’re at specifically, and sort out areas that you can work on one at a time. You can even choose the simplest ones first for faster change like we just mentioned! Performing a waste audit can help you to figure out where to start even if you have no idea where to begin, and gives you a means of seeing how far you’ve come over time. To learn how to do your own, join our webinar!
What’s Next? Register for our Expand Your Knowledge Webinar!
Shifting to Sustainable Operations in Your Business
Wednesday, January 31 | 10:00 - 11:30 am
Join Ange Defosse, entrepreneur and creator of Harlowe Green, as she leads you through actionable steps to get you started on your sustainability journey. Ange has years of experience helping a myriad of people work towards sustainable habit changes, and some key roadblocks to getting started are quite common.
This session will address ways to overcome the common obstacle of getting started and where to begin:
- Explain the sustainability trend and the fundamental shift in consumer expectations happening now
- Present concrete strategies for getting started with a waste audit or GreenStep assessment, or a business process/procedure that you’re hoping to update
- Provide the necessary background information for understanding how to make sustainable decisions on the fly, in everyday situations, and in rethinking home and business processes
- Demonstrate the shifts that can be implemented with clear examples to help you understand things on a functional level
- Show some ways that you can make these changes work for you, and how to bring your customers, clients, staff, and operations into the spotlight for your work in this area
- Dispel the stress of getting it right, right away
How to Connect with Ange
You can learn more about Harlowe Green’s mission and products at harlowegreen.com and read some blog posts to inspire and support individual change. Follow our Sustainable Stories in the Downtown Kingston blog, Instagram @harlowe_green, at our events page on our website for more local happenings, or consulting work at firstname.lastname@example.org.