Zero Waste Business: How To Reduce Waste In Your Company
Believe it or not, the United States averages 4.3 pounds of waste per person per day.
Fortunately, many companies are becoming interested in learning how to reduce waste. More and more businesses are seeking green alternatives to the traditional methods of daily operation. This can be beneficial both for the corporate bottomline and for the environment.
Let's take a look at a few things companies can start doing right now to help clean up the planet while maximizing profits.
Many modern businesses are leading the way to be a positive force for the environment. Check out our guide to reduce waste in your company.
Eliminate the Use of Bottled Water
You'd be shocked the amount of plastic that is dumped into the landfills of the world from plastic water bottles alone. A tremendous amount of petroleum is required to manufacture these bottles. Not only that, even the least expensive bottled water is far more expensive than tap water.
The smarter choice is to outfit your office with a water filter and provide reusable bottles or drinking glasses for your employees to use. Making the switch to tap water will not only save tons of money, but it also tastes just as good, and will greatly reduce the among of plastic that is wasted on a daily basis.
Be Bold and Go Paperless
With all of the options that technology has created in recent years, going paperless has become increasingly popular with many companies. There are simply better and cheaper alternatives to using paper.
There are a number of benefits to going paperless. For one, there is no need to order and store supplies. It also eliminates the need to recycle wasted paper, and greatly reduces the amount of clutter that paper creates. Not only does this save money on the cost of paper, but it also saves money on ink and toner, as well as space needed for onsite storage of documents.
Computers and mobile devices make accessing and filing documents simple and immediate, without the need of physical storage. Everything is simply stored on a server, either onsite or off, and can then be retrieved at the touch of a button as needed.
Reduce the Amount of Packaging
Packaging typically results in a significant amount of waste within any business. In fact, nearly a third of the waste produced in developed countries comes from packing.
We encourage you to take a look at your business and study the areas where you could reduce packaging without negatively impacting how your business operates. Single-use items are a major culprit. Simple things like switching from corrugated cardboard to reusable plastic shipping containers can save a small fortune while also saving trees.
You might be surprised at the opportunities for change you will discover simply by taking the time to evaluate every area of your business to see where packaging design can be improved.
Switch to Real Dishes
Another fast and easy way to cut costs while also reducing waste is to use real dishes and silverware rather than the disposable kind. Single-use paper and styrofoam plates and drinking cup are a waste of resources that go directly into a landfill.
Most offices have a break room or dining area where dishes can be stored, then washed in the kitchen after each use.
Making the switch is a painless decision, and using the real thing is a one-time cost that will save money in the long run. Simply make each employee responsible for cleaning and putting away the dishes they use.
Buy In Bulk
Wholesale warehouses have made it easy for companies to save money buying in bulk. From office supplies and office furniture to things like coffee beans, creamer, and even sweetener, there's a good chance you can find it in bulk quantities.
Buying in bulk benefits your company in several ways. First, it cuts down on the amount of packaging waste by only needing one box rather than several over time. Bulk purchases also last longer, reducing the number of trips needed to replenish supplies. You'll also save money because bulk items are cheaper in the longer run.
Focus on Recycling
It's a smart idea to take the time to audit your facility and evaluate how proactive your company is with recycling. Do you have designated recycling and composting containers located throughout the building? This should be your first order or business because employees are more likely to faithfully recycle when it's made easy for them.
Make sure the containers are clearly labeled with signage and photos in areas where they are within easy reach.
When you make recycling a top priority, you will likely be very surprised by how much money can be saved by switching to supplies that are recyclable. Many suppliers offer discounts when you exchange items such as old toner cartridges for new ones.
Donate Uneaten Food
Keep this in mind any time you have catered meals at the office. Or, even uneaten food collected each week. There's no reason to waste it by throwing it away.
Meals can be donated to churches or other shelters. And food can even be donated to farms to feed animals like pigs. This actually helps to lower food prices down the line, which benefits everyone and cuts down on waste.
Save Money While Helping Save the Planet
Learning how to reduce waste doesn't have to be complicated. Zero waste companies discover that they are actually able to save money while also being environmentally friendly.
Looking for ways to reduce waste is not only the smart thing to do. It's also the right thing to do. Companies that make recycling and looking for ways to cut back on waste in every facet of business are the kinds of corporate citizens we need more of in this world.
Take a look at your operation and you'll be amazed at how small changes can have a huge impact both financially and environmentally.
Interested in learning more about how unique package designs fit into your new green initiative? Click here to see three advantages of using custom packaging for your products.