Last year was a whirlwind for me. I sold a business, started a company, got engaged and somewhere in between, burned out by trying to do too much at once. While I was working to the point of exhaustion, I couldn't help but feeling selfish that my problems were nowhere focused on things that would impact others. Our country started to go through some major changes that made me question how I may better serve my community, country and planet so I decided that this year, I would focus on reducing my (and my company's) carbon footprint.

Corporate social responsibility has always been deeply important to me - and the trend is continuing to grow in popularity especially amongst Millennials. Unfortunately, most small businesses don't have the capital to invest in changing the way they do business even though it may be more socially conscious in the long run. As an example, I don't see a mom and pop local farm having the capital to replace their power source with a Tesla home battery; however, there are significant ways any business (even a franchise) can reduce their impact without changing the way their business operates.

Enter, Elytus, a privately held company that helps businesses waste less by making it easier for them to dispose of their garbage responsibly. A huge, and unglamorous side of every company is what it does with its trash. There are plenty of reports about major corporations dumping chemicals into our water supplies but even the small businesses have things to dispose of - and they may not always have the best resources to help them do so.

The garbage industry has been an "undisrupted" space until recently. Much before technology, garbage was likely owned and operated by the Mafia (I told you Tony Soprano had something to do with this story).

Elytus provides their own software (but, they don't quite consider themselves a SaaS company) that allows business managers a transparent view into their waste management practices. Where it goes, what company takes it away and everything in between. By changing this ONE thing in your day to day duties, you could, in theory, become a zero waste company within a few years and save money by doing it. By using local vendors who bid for your business, you're also helping invest in your local community's economy.

And a bonus: business owners should check their local tax codes, as many states offer incentives for recycling and sustainability programs like the ones Elytus encourages.

Tech-ing out a service like trash or food waste takes the mystery out of the traditional system and allows businesses the tools necessary to calculate & improve their triple bottom line. Though, the combination of saving money and better serving our communities simultaneously is pretty priceless.