Why your business should support Zero Waste Week
With Zero Waste Week officially starting today, it’s time for businesses to think about the level of waste they produce. Already in its seventh year, the awareness week hopes to open people’s eyes to the changes the increasing levels of waste are having on the planet and aims to educate people to take action to make little changes both at home and in the office.
According to leading serviced office provider Business Environment, these changes need to start in our workplace, as “domestic waste is responsible for less than 10% of Britain’s rubbish; the other 90% is generated by businesses.”
So, to support the campaign we have put together some useful tips to get you started in the office!
Reducing waste in the office
Firstly, remove each bin under the desks in every office. Business Environment introduced the “bin-less office” in a trial in 2011 and have maintained the process. The idea helps reduce the overall volume of rubbish by having one central bin. The idea is that if it’s harder to dispose of waste people generally produce less of it!
Stop printing for the sake of printing
Save yourself the waste of printing for multiple people when, for example, you are hosting a meeting or critiquing someone’s work. Why not send the document out in an email before your meeting so people can read it beforehand, take a device into the meeting and have it open – without using even a page of paper. If you’re critiquing someone’s work, use, as an example, the Review feature on Word and email back over to them.
Buy a lunchbox
Most office waste is produced around peoples lunch breaks with take-away food and the throw away packaging it creates. If you are already bringing in your own lunch, why not go further and reduce the packaging used by using a lunchbox or re-usable container?
In meetings, why not use your electronic device to make notes, which you can email back to yourself? It’ll save you typing it up afterwards and mean you don’t need to waste paper. For your to-do list, why not download an app to help? I use ‘Any.do’, which lets me add to my list at any time and then it pops up to go through my list daily so I can be reminded and tick off what I’ve done.
Have you printed work by mistake or the wrong pages? Make a pile of the sheets next to the printer and if people need some for notes or jotting, they can re-use these.
Get ready to upcycle
There are some seriously creative people out there, so have a look online to see what everyday office items you can recycle. For example, why not use your old coffee jars as pen holders or a toilet roll tube with a slit in to hold up your mobile phone at your desk? There are loads of ideas on this Pinterest page!
With over 100 million take away cups of coffee consumed every day in the US alone, according to E-Imports, it’s easy to find an immediate way to reduce waste. So, instead of buying your morning coffee or tea in a paper cup on the way to work, why not bring your own mug and wait until you get to work? Just doing this once a day for your working week will save five paper cups being wasted (and it tastes so much better in a mug!)
Business Environment have reported that they have increased recycling and waste reduction by 86% across their business by actively working to reduce workplace waste. They are one of many successful businesses who have demonstrated that sensible policies can work in the office.
Let us know what changes you’ll be doing to cut down on your amount of waste in the office this week and in the future. Or you could make a start by giving ours a try.
For more information about the campaign, click here. Happy ‘Zero Waste Week’!