Translation Home-based Businesses Can Be One of the Greenest Enterprises Out There
"Our actions and decisions today will shape the way we will be living in the future."
If you are an independent translator who works from home, chances are that your enterprise is one of the greenest businesses out there. Don't forget that just because your company seems like a small operation ran from a residential area it is not as legit as a Fortune 500 business ran from a corporate building. This is something I learned recently from a course I took at University of California San Diego Extension Program called Strategic Marketing and Branding for Translators and Interpreters, taught by Judy Jenner from Twin Translations.
Yes, we have a drought in Southern California
In San Diego, for example, where Marco Diaz Translations was recently launched, there is a serious water problem, so this small business is committed to help Southern California conserve its water resources. Since as entrepreneurs we have the opportunity to work from home, we can be very frugal about the use of water and energy. Some days, especially when it is not summer, we can skip the shower and just wash our face and arms with soap in the morning. It shouldn't take more than a bowl of water. This wouldn't apply if we need to go out to a trade conference to try to engage with potential clients or networking events when we need to look as clean and professional as we can be.
What can you do to save energy?
Energy conservation is the key here. You can try to use as much daylight as possible to keep all electric appliances turned off during the day (except for your computer of course). Not only are you helping preserve the resources in your local community, but you are also reducing the costs of running your business (or lowering your monthly bills). Also, you can replace all the light bulbs in your office with energy-efficient bulbs.
Other ways in which a home-based business can be part of the local green network is by recycling hazardous materials such as batteries, fluorescent bulbs, or paint products. Moreover, if you would like to take your green business even further, you can create your own compost bin in your backyard by following the steps in this easy guide. This way you can reduce the solid waste that goes to landfills and the garbage pick-up costs while keeping your backyard soil nourished to help plants grow, if having an organic source of vegetables is what you are looking into.
Marco Diaz Translations also takes pride in not driving a car and only using the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (which works well if you're within a 10-mile radius from downtown San Diego, but starts to become a little bit of a drag if you're anywhere in North County) or riding a bike to the office supply store. An alternative to this, if you need to travel a long distance or make it to a meeting on time, is to use a car-sharing service like Car2go, which uses only electric cars and are friendly to the environment, or Lyft, which is a way of car pooling instead of using your own car.
Of course there are disadvantages...
The only downside about home-based companies and their impact on the ecosystem is the use of paper, like in my case. In translation businesses sometimes it is necessary (and recommended) to print hard copies in order to efficiently revise and proofread our translation work. The one thing we can do about this is to try to use both sides of the paper for multiple translation projects and recycle it as much as we can.
I wrote this post to encourage other colleagues and entrepreneurs who work from home to try to become as green as possible in order to take pride as an industry with one of the lowest impacts on the local ecosystems.