Rubbish. Trash. Garbage. Lots of us are reducing our rubbish at home – we take fabric shopping bags to and from the supermarket, wash out yogurt containers, separate glass, even feed the worms, and as a result send smaller bags, less frequently, to the landfill. Go us! But how does your business or enterprise fare?
Here at Sustainability Trust, we have been auditing the waste of Wellington businesses for some years now. In general, businesses do a pretty good job of recycling cardboard, but in many other areas there are some big improvements that can be made.
Of course it’s harder with a large workforce to carrel, but have hope - we can help. The key starting place for businesses is a review of where its consumables (throw away items) are coming from, and what is going into the waste.
This is actually more urgent than addressing the recycling! Paper products – e.g. printing and sanitary – are New Zealand’s biggest office consumables. Using a copy paper that comes from fully recycled stock has way less impact that one from virgin sources, and these days recycled paper quality is comparable to other papers.
It’s a few years old now, but the Sustainable Business Council review, Which Paper? Is a good place to start your decision making journey. Always check for environmental certifications too.
Changing the way we use paper and thinking about what goes to waste can make a big difference. Making the shift to tracking and editing documents on screen, or screen-based meeting presentations can significantly reduce paper printing and wastage.
Another effective tip is to have two paper trays for collection of waste A4 paper – one for GOOS paper (good on one side) that can be reused for notes (or reuse products like these notebooks) and one for paper that is already printed on both sides and will need to be directed to recycling.
Paper to wipe your, ah, hands on, is easy not to think too hard about – when you are in the moment you will take what’s on offer, right?
Sustainability Trust are now suppliers of the Greencane range of sanitary papers – with 70% bamboo and sugarcane, these paper products are sourced from a more sustainable supply chain, do not use a chlorine based bleach process, and quickly and comprehensibly breaks down once discarded.
Switching to less environmentally impacting products is a small move you can make easily. So don’t wait - change in-office behaviours or call us for help today.
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