We’ll soon be welcoming in the new year and making plans for all we want to accomplish during 2012. On January 1st, we all need to be armed with a detailed plan for what we want to achieve in the next 365 days to make as much of it happens as possible. As you write that plan and sort out the details, be sure to keep the green factor in mind.

1. Reflect On 2011

Analyze your previous year’s victories and defeats. Make note of what you could do better and greener in 2012. Look to companies who are already greening their practices for ideas. Many green companies have opportunities for partnering as well. Here are a few examples: TerraCycleRecyclebankEbay Green Team, and the list goes on and on.

Think about how you, as a company, gave back to the community last year. Can you give back in a way that will make a greener impact this year? It could be anything from contributing to support a local bird preserve to giving your employees the day off to collect trash in your local area. Be open to all the ideas.

2. Do Your Research

Investigate your current service providers to see if they follow green practices. There may be a better option out there and it may even be cheaper. Electricity is a great example. Check to see if your state has a wind powered electric provider. It’s an easy first step. Just go to THIS SITE and click on your state to see if this is available in your area.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Does your janitorial service use green cleaning products? If they don’t now, is it even an option? Do they have a competitor with a better or equal deal that already has green practices and products? Is it worth it to change to green cleaning products to have a healthier work environment?

3. Plan Ahead

Make a list of the capital expenditures you anticipate for the coming year. Replacing or adding things like computers, copy machines and other office equipment can get expensive – fast. Investigate new technology because there’s always something new out there. Chances are that new products may be greener and are just waiting to be discovered.

Ask other small businesses where they shop green for deals on big ticket items. They may know of warehouse stores that offer scratch and dent items for a significant discount. While the damage may be minor or even superficial, most retailers will still honor the warranty the same as they would for regular merchandise.

By being proactive in your search, you put yourself in a position to have more choices than if you were in reactionary mode needing to replace a crucial item immediately. If you have your eye on an affordable green choice, when you need a replacement item, it may be as easy as picking up the phone to pull the trigger on that new capital expenditure. You can be happy with your choice and have peace of mind knowing you made a green affordable decision.

Wishing you an successful and green 2012! Cheers!

{Featured image via Smile Shop}