My business is already pretty green.
For those who don't know, I have owned and operated a (home-based) virtual office service since 1998 - starting my business at roughly the same time as we bought our house. In fact, when the decision was made that one of us (me) would be a full-time, stay-at-home parent, we also realized that being a work-at-home mom (WAHM) would be even better, as that extra income would come in handy (and it has). So, I became a WAHM.
As a home-based business, my job is already more energy efficient. I didn't need another building (which required massive energy inputs just to build). There are no additional costs for utilities - no second building to heat/cool and keep at a constant temperature to avoid things like burst pipes.
In addition, because I work from home, there is no cost to me or the environment for my travel. While I do have to go to my client's office three times a week, I can pair those drive times with other errands/appointments I'm doing, and instead of making a trip to work, and then, doing additional driving to run errands, I do it all at the same time, which saves gasoline.
As a home-based entrepreneur, I have a lot of control over the resources and equipment my business uses. Most of the work I do is on the computer, and over the years, my computer has gotten more and more energy efficient. These days, I have a laptop, which uses about half the power of a comparable desktop (in memory and hard-drive space). When I'm in my office, I plug in an optical mouse, an ergonomic keyboard and a LCD monitor, and so, for the most part, it has all of the feel of a desktop with considerably less power usage ... and if I have to be on the road, my laptop can come with me.
In addition, when I have to use paper supplies or other office supplies, I get to be in charge, and it's been interesting to watch the different choices as they appear at the local office supply store. For example, for a long time I was completely enamored of those plastic-coated paperclips. One day, I realized, plastic-coated = bad, and I started looking for different options. When I have to use paperclips, now, they are all metal, no coating, and I buy them in bulk, the largest quantity with the least packaging.
Paper is another office supply that has caused me to take pause and look at my choices. There are several brands, all different weights and brightnesses. I used to use a very fancy, heavy-weight linen paper, which is mostly used for resumes. This paper was really expensive, and sometimes the print looked fuzzy (my client told me). So, I switched to a regular copy paper, and then, I discovered that for about the same price I could buy copy paper that is made from 30% recycled consumer waste. SCORE! The recycled paper, even the store-brand, is slightly more expensive that regular copy paper, but sometimes it's better to spend the extra and keep true to one's values. In short, it's not always about the money.
The whole "green movement" has created a slew of new products, and some of them are really not very useful, but for eco-conscious business owners, some of them are very welcome. Recyclable ink-jet printer cartridges are pretty awesome, especially considering I can donate them to my library, and they can get cash-credits to buy supplies they need.
Then, there are other, necessary products like the ones I found at a recent trip to the office supply store.
The envelopes are 100% recycled, and the pens are made from plastic bottles. I love the idea of being able to buy a product I'm going to use anyway that has been made using resources that would have just ended up as garbage.
We are moving into an energy-poor society and making new stuff will become more difficult. While it's true that recycling, repurposing, and reusing also require some energy inputs, it just makes good sense to reuse these things, remold them, and make something out of them that we would otherwise have wasted precious resources making. It's a win-win for all of us.
Some day doing the job I do may no longer be possible, but while I still have this job, the very least I can do is to make the impact of my work as small as possible.