Your small business can design for recycling and contribute to a greener community. Learning how to make recycling easy for your customers is something that will pay dividends to your reputation and bottom line–in addition to improving the environment.
Consumption in the US is currently at the highest level in history. The average American produces more than 1,700 pounds of waste a year. Businesses contribute even more. Food alone takes up more space in landfills than anything else. Product recycling can cut down on waste. Adopting practices that increase recycling for businesses can make your company part of a sustainable community.
If you can increase consumer recycling, you can help reduce waste production. Increasing sustainability by incorporating recycling into your business will have an impact. Something as simple as providing a recycling bin by the trash bin reminds consumers to be more mindful of the waste they produce and aware of recycling as an option. These are great ways for businesses to go green.
You can improve product recycling by putting some thought into your product packaging. The type, amount and variety of materials in your packaging matter when it comes to recycling. Reducing the materials in your packaging eliminates waste and may cut costs. Using fewer materials makes recycling much easier.
When you design for recycling, start with your package. Reduce what people throw away and change how they discard your package. In addition to the tips below, the Sustainable Packaging Coalition is a great resource for ideas.
The environment is a complex system, so it makes sense that protecting it is similarly complex. Decisions we make related to energy, materials, manufacturing processes and shipping are interconnected. Sourcing products from ethical producers and factories can be a resource for expertise and know-how for how to make recycling easy for your customers. Because they share the same goals, it is easier for you to work together with them to reduce the overall materials, energy and waste produced by your business.
EPR stands for Extended Producer Responsibility. In some countries, laws hold manufacturers financially responsible for all environmental costs of a product throughout its life. EPR laws, a trend just getting started in the United States, encourage businesses to look at environmental costs and design for recycling in a way that creates less waste.
You can encourage product recycling by educating staff and customers on the importance of recycling. You can also implement better recycling practices internally. For example, you can recycle old office equipment, start recycling light bulbs and adopt environmentally friendly work practices.
Companies that take the time to explain their recycling commitment and goals show customers that they are responsible. Take the extra step of engaging customers in sustainability. Explain how they can recycle or reuse your products and do all you can when thinking through how to make recycling easy.
Communication is the key to bringing customers into your sustainability process and encouraging them to recycle.
Clean packaging and products are easier to recycle. Separating materials also reduces the energy needed to process recyclables. Provide separate bins for paper, plastic and metals. Minimize use of mixed materials. The EPA provides details and tips on making recycling easier and less resource intensive.
Waste production in the US reached 292.4 million tons in 2018, equating to 4.9 pounds per person per day. We can each do our part to cut that number down by reducing what goes into landfills. In addition to recycling, consider composting. If your business produces biological waste, like restaurants and food processing companies, composting reduces waste and produces nutrient-rich material that can fertilize food production. Your business can help on a smaller scale by composting bio-waste from your lunch room.
Recycling is more than important for your business. It is good for your business. Whether you start with small-scale projects or commit, like many large companies have, to zero-waste, when you design for recycling you, your employees, customers and community benefit.
Design for recycling and make product recycling a core part of your business. You will be doing the environment and your business a world of good.
Whatever your energy needs are, we've got a plan for you
Understanding your electric bill or natural gas bill each month is an important part of managing your energy budget. When reading your electricity bill or natural gas bill, you might wonder what electricity or natural gas supply charges are, what the units mean and how they’re calculated.
Environmental sustainability has become a core strategic driver in business today. Beyond helping the environment, setting small business sustainability goals and developing plans for achieving them can benefit your business.
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