As Earth Day rolls around each year we’re all reminded to take a look at ways that we can reduce our impact on the environment. Sometimes those not-so-gentle reminders can leave you feeling stressed. Are you doing enough to go green? Are the things you’re doing really making a difference? There’s really no reason to stress out, especially since it’s Stress Awareness Month. When we were working towards earning our green business certification, we were pleasantly surprised to find that many of the things we were already doing counted as green practices, and many of the suggested practices were easy to implement. So, in celebration of Earth Day and Stress Awareness Month, we’re sharing these easy-to-implement tips for moving towards more sustainable practices. As an added bonus, most of them will also save you money. What’s less stressful than that?
Why does buying in bulk make a difference? We can answer that in one word: packaging. It’s estimated that one-third of the garbage thrown away in the U.S. is packaging. That’s a lot of shrink wrap and boxes. Bulk products use less packaging so there’s less to throw away. Of course, not all supplies are great choices for bulk. Who needs 5 million rubber bands? Start with paper products. You probably go through toilet tissue, napkins, and towels faster than you think, and if you buy larger quantities you’ll end up paying less in the long run.
Cleaning products are another area where buying bulk can make a difference. You can cut back on a lot of waste by buying large containers of concentrated cleaners and using those to refill smaller spray bottles, etc. If you want to give bulk cleaning a try, take a look at the new Pak-It line. Pak-It cleaners come pre-measured in water-soluble packets. Just drop the packet in water and shake. The packet dissolves completely so there’s nothing to throw away and you won’t waste cleaning solvent because it’s already measured for you.
These days it’s pretty much basic operating procedure to recycle copy paper, but when was the last time you looked around your office to see what else you could be recycling?
That headline may be slightly misleading. We aren’t suggesting that you reuse the cartridge you just took out of your printer. It is possible to reuse a toner cartridge though – just choose a compatible cartridge. What’s a compatible cartridge? It’s a cartridge that’s been rebuilt from previously used toners. When you recycle a toner cartridge, it’s sent to a remanufacturer. The remanufacturer carefully inspects the cartridge for quality, then cleans, refills, rebuilds, and seals it to meet original manufacturer standards. Even the parts that can’t be reused are recycled. Cartridges that don’t meet the correct standards are ground down into plastic pellets that are used to make plastic products like desk trays and pencil cups. Now you know why so many of them are black!
By choosing a compatible cartridge, you can do your part to keep some of the 350 million cartridges thrown away each year out of landfills. What’s more, you can save 30% or more on your toner costs by making the switch.
We know that the phrase “facility upgrades” can make the average business owner cringe. Making changes to your space can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. There are some relatively simple upgrades you can make that will make a big difference to your business’s environmental impact.