Refuse and Recycling Blog

How Can My Business Practice Environmental Sustainability?

Posted on Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 09:00 AM

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The green movement is a planet wide initiative to change the way we behave and make sure that our children are left with a better environment than we inherited from our parents.

Bringing your business into the fold will require implementing an environmental waste recycling program in the workplace. Designing and implementing a system for environmentally friendly waste management isn't hard if you have help from a dedicated waste removal services company. Many of these companies already have templates for you to follow to help you get your recycling efforts quickly and easily.

Physical & Energy

The majority of environmental waste in a business is found in two places, physical and energy waste. Physical waste consists of any items that are used and then thrown away. This could be printer cartridges, paper, plastic bottles, packaging, etc. Energy waste is far more subtle. Energy leeching appliances, inefficient machines and every day power devouring practices can contribute to these wastes. Always look for Energy Star labeled products when upgrading electronics. 

To combat physical waste in the business here are some suggestions:

Reduce the amount of paper used in the office - The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of office paper per year. By implementing a paperless system this can be virtually eliminated.

If you must have hard copies of documents use the duplexing feature on your printer. This will allow both sides of a sheet of paper to be printed, effectively reducing printed pages in half.

Buy recycled products - This will reduce the consumption of raw materials used to produce the products you use.

Put recycling stations in every major office area -  The added visual cues will promote recycling and remove the excuse that the bin is too far away. Alternatively, have one employee make daily rounds to collect recyclable materials to deposit in the bins.

Recycle electronic devices and components - Many charities will accept your old electronics, or you could attempt to sell them to an online electronics purchaser. Consider using an ink filling service or printer cartridge trade in service to reduce the cost and waste of printer cartridge disposal.

For energy conservation, the following options could save you as much as 50% on your utility bill.

If you haven't already, replace all of your light bulbs with more efficient LED based models. They are initially more expensive but run at a fraction of the cost of incandescent and last up to 150 times longer.

Put all of your computers and monitors on power strips - Not only will this protect them from power surges, it will also allow them to be turned off more quickly at the end of the business day. Power savings over not turning off the system, up to 25%.

Put all of your other appliances on these strips as well. Power strips reduce the "vampire effect" by reducing the amount of energy that appliances leech from the system when they are not in use. This savings could reduce power consumption by up to 20%.

Install a programmable thermostat - A programmable thermostat can reduce air conditioning and heating expenses by as much as 25%.

Key Takeaways:

  • Partner with a local recycling company to get a jump start on your sustainability program.
  • Buy Energy Star approved appliances to reduce daily costs.
  • Go paperless if possible.
  • Make recycling easy by placing receptacles in multiple locations.
  • Put your machines on power strips.

Need Help?

If your business is interested in setting up a recycling program that will save you money, contact us today!

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