WAYS TO BE A MORE SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS
As a society, we send ridiculous amounts of waste to the landfill. All of this waste represents wasted resources, both natural and financial. We are creating products that ultimately become garbage.
How do we stop this?
We can think of all three, to begin with. We've heard of them many times, but let's take a closer look at how they can be applied to help us reduce waste at work.
Take a look at what's in your garbage, recycling, and compost bins. Ask yourself, "Is there anything we can do to avoid using or buying that product?"
For example, if you find there is packaging waste, you can work with your suppliers to remove it or buy items in bulk. If waste is the result of your manufacturing, you can further optimize your operations to minimize or eliminate that waste.
An example of this is a restaurant that through recycling and composting found that plastic straws made up a significant part of their waste stream. They then took two concrete steps to change this. First, they stopped distributing straws automatically and instead placed small signs on each table to inform customers that the straws were available upon request.
Second, they investigated the use of compostable paper straws and made the switch. Using fewer straws allowed them to absorb the slightly higher cost of compostable straws. By paying attention, they were able to make changes and reduce the waste they sent to landfill.
A major part of this could involve purchasing reusable items instead of disposables, which is an obvious way to reduce your waste stream. It will save you money in the long run because you won't have to keep buying disposable items over and over again.
An example of this would be paper cups, paper plates, and plastic utensils in employee kitchens; just replace them with real flatware.
If you can't reduce or reuse an item, your last option is to recycle it. The most commonly recycled items, like paper, glass, and plastics, are really easy to recycle through your transportation service. However, for your office recycling to be effective, you will need to ensure that you provide enough proper containers and signage so that your employees can easily recycle items and provide ongoing training for your employees.
Note that recycling also includes food waste recycling or composting, so you need to set up that service as well. Beyond recycling standard items, you may have some items that are a bit more difficult to recycle. In those cases, you may need to do more research to find out who can recycle those items for you.
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