Many businesses are going green as they realize that it can have financial benefits in addition to helping the environment. If you are a business owner with an eye towards instituting eco-friendly practices, you don't have to feel overwhelmed with making big changes all at once. Here are a few smaller changes you can make, which will have a bigger, positive effect on the environment.
Recycle More Office Waste
You might be surprised to find out just what can be recycled aside from paper. Looking just at plastic, almost every container can be melted and reused in a rotational molding or injection molding process. Additionally, machines, such as desktop computers, laptops, and mobile devices can also be recycled and refurbished. Light bulbs, batteries, and printer cartridges are more examples of office waste that can be turned over to an e-waste recycling facility.
Turn Food Waste into a Resource
In addition, to live public events, more businesses are turning to compost to help them become as eco-friendly as possible. You can add composting bins to your lunch and outdoor picnic areas to ensure all of your employees have access to them. Post a list of items that should be deposited in these bins, which should include food scraps, paper towels, coffee grinds, and tea bags, cardboard, and paper plates. You can turn full bags of compostable material to a processing facility, so it can ultimately be used on farms and in landscaping.
Encourage the Use of Reusable Containers
While you may have snack and beverage machines in your lunch areas, you should still encourage employees to bring in their own meals. For your employees, they'll find that preparing meals at home and storing them in plastic containers will save them money week to week. Additionally, this will cut down on the amount of paper, cardboard, and plastic wrapping that creates the majority of waste in workplace lunchrooms.
Address the Issue of Beverages
There's no getting around the fact that workers in any setting need to stay alert and hydrated throughout the day. Whether they're big coffee drinkers, or they like to hydrate with cold, refreshing water, these activities generate an enormous amount of waste. Paper coffee cups and plastic, single-use water bottles comprise the majority of workplace waste in most businesses. You can solve this solution by encouraging your workers to bring in their own coffee mugs and reusable water bottles. This may require adding extra shelf space in the break areas, but that's an investment in a more eco-friendly workforce.
At some point, office documents will need to be printed out to be signed or to be turned over to a client, colleague, or customer. In the meantime, try keeping your documents in digital form by making use of cloud technology. You can use a secure cloud account to store your documents, and you can grant your employees access to those documents. This means data can be accessed anywhere with secure login information, and it can be edited as necessary. To print it out, simply send it to an office printing station.
Reuse Old Equipment and Supplies
Finally, you can store old office equipment in an area specifically designated for that purpose. When an employee needs a new stapler, a supply of paperclips, or a calculator, this storage area should be the first place they check. They should be instructed to only order a new supply if the item they need isn't in the storage area. In addition to reducing the waste your business generates, this can also be used as a cost-saving technique.
As you begin pursuing an eco-friendly philosophy, you can find more ways to operate efficiently without wasting precious resources. You may even want to turn to your employees for suggestions. Together with your staff, you can make positive changes that will benefit both your business and the local environment.
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