It’s unfortunate that sustainability plays second fiddle in business. The need for businesses to turn over a profit shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment. Businesses need to do more to minimize their contribution to landfill and carbon emissions. Rather than try to implement everything themselves, businesses can leverage technology and the help of sustainability partners in order to make their business more eco-friendly. Here are 5 ways businesses can do more to help the environment.
Correctly disposing printer cartridges.
Over 30 million printer cartridges are sent to landfill every year. The cartridges are harmful to the environment because inks and plastics that are in the cartridges can contaminate the ecosystem, making any contaminated water undrinkable and any contaminated soil unable to grow any agriculture.
Additionally, used printer cartridges can take anywhere from 400 to 1000 years to degrade.
Businesses can help to close the loop by participating in schemes where the original printer manufacturers ethically recycle used printer cartridges. Suppliers like Cartridges Direct have partnered with Cartridges for Planet Ark to help businesses implement a system where they can mail their used printer cartridges to be recycled at no cost to the business. The business only needs to implement a process where their staff will ethically dispose and dispatch the used cartridge so that it is received by the right recycler.
Setting up a stationery recycling station
Businesses waste a lot of money on buying new stationery rather than recycling unused stationery. Set up a stationery station such as a cupboard where employees can place any unused stationery items like pens, pads, books or staplers for other employers to use. This should cut down the business’s stationery expenses and minimise the amount of unused stationery that gets disposed.
Setup recycling categories and partner with organisations that can recycle the items ethically
It’s important that your business encourages its employees to recycle ethically. Make things easier for them by creating disposal boxes that give them the option to recycle items easily. Place bins around the office that give employees the option to dispose:
- General rubbish
Educate people within the business why and how they should dispose their items responsibly.
Minimise the building’s reliance on artificial lighting
Artificial lighting accounts for approximately 15% of businesses overhead expenses. Most businesses that consume electricity are on an electricity grid that generates power by burning fossil fuels such as oil and coal, which causes carbon emissions. Businesses should seek ways to improve the amount of natural light that is used within their business. This can be accomplished by installing skylights, solar tubes, large windows, mirrors and reflective glass and metals.
Additionally, if the business still needs to use artificial lighting, installing energy-efficient lightbulbs can significantly reduce the amount of energy consumption that the business uses. LED lightbulbs can save a business up to 60% on their annual energy bill due to the minimal energy consumption from the bulb’s technology.
Encourage employees to donate their items
A lot of electronics and clothes end up in landfill. Businesses can setup a donation area so that employees can donate any used items from their home to charities such as St. Vincent De Paul. This way, the items are recycled and it lowers the amount of waste going to landfill.
Saving the environment is almost starting to sound like a cliché, but it is more important than ever for the sake of future generations. If the human race wants to preserve the natural resources that we have today and enjoy a healthy quality of life in the future, it’s essential that we implement the necessary sustainable practices.
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