‘Green,’ ‘environmentally friendly,’ ‘carbon neutral.’ No doubt, these are buzz words you have heard before. Reducing waste is increasingly important in preventing the depletion of our earth’s resources, and making an inhabitable future for generations to come. Having good waste prevention methods in place is important for every business. Sadly, many businesses still don’t invest time, money and energy into ensuring that they minimise their impact on the environment. Sometimes, the bottom line is still the driving factor for all decision making, and the true costs of operations are not really considered.
If you have been thinking that it is time that your business became more sustainable, then don’t delay any further. While reducing waste might not generate revenue in the same way as sales do, many of these solutions will save you money in the long term, and they will certainly make you feel much better about yourself and your business.
Here are some super simple ways that you can prevent waste, help the environment, AND have a positive impact on your budget.
Sustainable packaging and products
The amount of packaging that ends up in landfill is enormous, so if you are a business that packages your goods, consider upgrading to sustainable packaging. That might mean switching to biodegradable bags, or if you are a cafe, having biodegradable cups. You can also implement sustainable products in your office in the form of carbon-neutral paper products. There are so many ways that you can make sure the products you do use are more sustainable, so even if you start small with just a percentage of your items, it will make a difference. Keep in mind some compostable packaging is only compostable in commercial facilities, while others are home compostable. With a limited number of commercial composting facilities across the country, not all recycled compostable packaging actually gets repurposed, so buying home compostable is a great idea when you can.
Investing in good quality items like office furniture, stationery and appliances means that products will last longer and will reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill. Consider these items as an investment in the future. Cheap products are cheap for a reason – a lot of the time they are inferior quality and made of cheaper materials which means they end up costing you more in the long run when they need to be replaced. You should also think ahead and avoid quick fix purchases. Buy only what you need and what will last. Avoid disposable items such as single-use bottles, stirrers, and plastics that really aren’t necessary. Make sure there are real dishes and cutlery in your staff kitchen. You might even consider providing your staff with reusable water bottles.
Make recycling convenient
Recycling is a very easy waste prevention method to implement in your business. Most people will recycle if it is convenient for them, so no matter what business you are in, make sure your recycling bins are visible, and within reach. Ensure that they are emptied frequently too, as no-one wants to stuff rubbish into an overflowing bin. This might mean having a recycling bin in front of your cafe or restaurant or on your shop floor, as well as in your staff areas. The first step to making sure the right products are recycled is making sure the right bins are provided.
Bulk buying products reduces significantly on packaging and there are so many things you can purchase in bulk for your office or business. Some things to consider are sugar (rather than individual sachets), cleaning products and supplies, tissues, and food items. Buying bulk is not only a great waste prevention method, it also saves you money, so there is no reason not to try it.
Use less paper
While most businesses are not in a position to go paperless, sharing documents electronically is a great way to cut back on paper. Consider storing important documents on USB rather than printing them. You might also use USB drives to share important files between staff. Paper documents can easily be damaged and will degrade with time, so having some extra high capacity USB drives on hand is always a good idea for document back up, convenient sharing, and they will certainly help you use less paper.
That’s just a start
There are literally countless ways that you can implement waste prevention strategies in your business. These are just a few examples of how you can get started today. As you can see, reducing waste doesn’t need to be difficult and time-consuming. A few simple changes can make a big difference to your business’s environmental footprint. You might also consider asking your staff to offer some other strategies you could try, and reward them for their creativity and input. A more sustainable workplace is a happier workplace, and more and more customers value organisations that are environmentally conscious.
If you want help making your business more sustainable, or want to know more about the products available, the knowledgeable team at Franks Stationery care about our planet and are ready to assist you today.