Today is Global Recycling Day, and a chance for businesses to reflect on how their activities are impacting the environment.
Since its inception in 2018, this particular day has aimed to make us all more accountable for how we treat the planet.
It’s all about reusing what we have and working together to make a difference.
Your business might only need to create small changes, or maybe it should take big strides. Either way, we can help you to get started.
Here are 11 easy alternatives that will push your business closer towards being environmentally friendly.
If you run a business
Write sustainability and eco-friendly practices into your policy instead of leaving it up to employees.
Use your influential position within the business to lead people into making better recycling decisions.
Make environmental responsibility part of your guiding principles, so that everything your company does – from meeting habits to eating habits – is better for the planet.
Think about your team’s combined impact on the environment and see how you can be a force for greater change.
Partner with like minded, sustainable companies instead of working with businesses with harmful habits.
While everybody’s individual efforts count, the things we can achieve when we work together are always more impressive.
Take that approach when thinking about business sustainability, and look to work with companies who are committed to recycling or eco-friendly work.
It could be the suppliers of your office snacks or your energy providers. See what small changes your organization could make to its network.
Add a dark mode function onto your website for all devices instead of only giving users a daylight option.
No change is too small – plus, your website will be on-trend if you include this functionality.
Dark- or night-themed UI saves energy on devices with OLED or AMOLED displays by using more black and grey pixels.
It can decrease the need to recharge devices, so having the feature on your website means that you’re making a change – a tiny change, but a positive one either way.
Switch to cloud computing instead of running your business over energy-sapping servers.
Nowadays, hosting and processing data on the cloud can reduce carbon impact as well as increase opportunities to scale.
Cloud computing means using less electricity, but it’s also more common now for large-scale cloud providers to use less carbon-intense power than standard data centers.
If you have a company workspace
Switch off lights, computers, and other electrical equipment instead of leaving the office powered up overnight.
Your devices should rest and sleep when you rest and sleep. After all, who are you leaving the lights switched on for, the mice?
Keeping your workspace electricity running overnight makes a huge impact on the environment.
A well-known statistic from the UK shows that leaving your computer switched on every night for a year creates enough CO2 to fill a double-decker London bus.
If you’re worried about the security of your workspace, invest in shutters, cameras, and alarms.
Fill the kitchen with reusable mugs, plates and glasses instead of using paper or plastic packaging.
We should all stay hydrated at work. If your team is fuelled by water or caffeine, an easy way to embrace eco-friendly practices is to cut down on single-use cups.
Encourage your team to clean up after themselves, but consider purchasing an office dishwasher to make the switch to ceramics easier.
Studies have shown that a good dishwashing appliance is generally more efficient than washing by hand.
Share presentations virtually before or during meetings instead of printing everything out onto paper.
Businesses can (and do) waste tons and tons of paper – in the US, around 1 billion trees’ worth of paper are thrown away each year. 1 billion trees.
Now that we’re all expert users of Zoom, Google Meet, and other video conferencing software, it’s never been easier to share slides in a virtual setting.
Try adding up the cost of a printer, paper, ink, and maintenance over a year versus paying for screens or laptops.
Even if the cost to your business isn’t significantly different, the cost to the planet definitely will be – as long as you power-down your devices at night.
Recycle your team’s broken electronic devices instead of throwing them in the trash to go into landfill.
Accidents happen, coffee can spill, and computers get old and tired after a lot of use. But don’t just throw things away.
Set aside anything that’s no longer in use: keyboards, computer mice, monitors, tablets – there’s always another use for your unwanted electrical items.
Look for donation schemes, work with electronics retailers who will recycle for you, or find a local recycling depot.
If you have a shop or eCommerce store
Make sustainable sourcing a priority instead of buying products from the cheapest suppliers you can find.
It’s probably no surprise to you that factories can harm the environment. That’s why it pays to be conscious about what you source, how much you require, and how it’s being made.
Think about how your chosen products could impact the environment surrounding the factory. Air, waterways, and land can all be polluted by wasteful production.
If you can, hire someone to take care of the corporate and social responsibility (CSR) tasks.
Create a business model that relies on local sourcing instead of buying from overseas.
Often, particularly if you run a small business, it can be more cost-effective to sell products made closer to home. Plus, it helps the planet.
Sourcing goods from neighborhood artisans, or experts from your home country, can save on the time and energy usually taken getting products to your warehouse or customers.
It also means that any faulty items are more easily returned, minimizing waste and packaging.
Find sustainable and recyclable packaging instead of using plastics, foams, and non-reusable materials.
This is a move that will help everyone: your suppliers, their local environment, your business, and your customers.
It’s not that hard nowadays to find innovative packaging for nearly any item – do some research to find the best options for the types of products you sell.
Make it easy for customers to dispose of the packaging or return it to your business once they’ve received their orders.