Monday, August 29, 2011

Conscious Business Tips

-- Quote of the Day --

"Sit down before fact as a little child, 
be prepared to give up every preconceived notion;
follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads,
or you will learn nothing."

~ Thomas Huxley

-- Conscious Business Tips --

We featured the topics of in-house business eco-programs and offered some suggestions in the past, since then we’ve come across some great tips from INiKA Small Earth.Org– in their late Aug newsletter – and I want to share those tips with some of my own elaborations on them today:

During a slow period of the day have a member of your staff or two conduct waste audits… what waste is going in which baskets, what kinds of waste are generated by the business. Developing a simple chart is helpful for the staff to do this audit, with categories for different types of recyclables, returnables, e-waste, organics… and so on. Once you have this information you can more easily determine the kinds of waste receptacles to have on hand and the best location for them – which will increase participation.  This audit may have to be an ongoing project for a week or two – so that you are able to get a clear picture of the day-to-day waste generation.

This process will also help to save a few dollars for the company because you can then determine the right sized waste collection service packages that you sign up for.

Do you have a staff coffee room, meeting area, smoking area, or cafeteria? These areas are likely to have high amounts of organics. Therefore you’ll want to have the appropriate containers there to catch all those organics. Make a deal with a gardener (who might just be a member of your staff) or farmer who could really use your organic waste… For instance, let’s say your business produces canned fruit – the organic waste may be ideal for a farmer who has pigs or chickens, as these types of animals love fruit and the farmer saves money on feed. Or if you do a lot of baking and have a lot of egg shells, gardeners love these as soil amendments (crushed egg shells have lots of minerals in them). And don’t be afraid to put up a poster notifying your clients that you have this or that waste item available for free… you can also list it in the classified ads section of the newspaper.

Have the staff search out and identify lapses in the recycling – for instance, by knowing exactly what the local system accepts you might be able to increase the recycling rate. Perhaps there are take-back programs or mail in programs for some of the waste your business generates.

Have the staff walk around and review areas where things are plugged in that needn’t be because the machine or lamp, or whatever isn’t on or in use every moment of the day. Have the staff install socket insulation kits (little foam inserts for light switch and socket areas).

Perhaps the staff will come up with ways for altering the transportation involved in the day-to-day operations, or energy or water use.

And this project can also be applied to in-house purchasing department as well. They can do similar evaluations in regards to purchasing options, material and product or shipping options.

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