Boxes and packaging that are in good condition can be reused. Remove any previous labels and color over extra markings with a heavy black marker before shipping.
Save your scraps! Can they be upcycled or donated?
Combine tasks such as picking up supplies, meeting with clients, and shipping packages into one trip to reduce the amount of driving. Make errands more environmentally friendly (and fun) by walking or biking if possible.
Do you believe in shopping locally? Buy supplies from nearby stores. Prefer giving your support to other small businesses owners? Research independent suppliers for your business needs. Do any companies share a common belief or endorse causes that are important to you? Purchase from them. (I like ordering from Rio Grande Jewelry Making Supplies because of their approach to renewable energy and great customer service.)
Serving as a teacher or guide to another person is rewarding for both parties. If the business is very small, and without extra funds, working with a high school or college student as an intern could be a good choice. You will streamline your process. The trainee will benefit from your business knowledge and particular areas of expertise. Positive support from an adult role model makes a huge impact on young lives.
Give your time outside of work to a cause that you believe in. Not only will it make you feel good, you will gain new skills. Skills that could be applied to your small business.
Spread the Wealth
Donate a portion of your sales to a favorite charity. Do what you can. Even if it is a small percentage, you are making a difference. If the funds are too tight, spread the word. Tell others about the organizations that you want to support. Serve as a humanitarian. Be an example through your actions.
Get inspired. Take a look at 5 socially conscious startups.