It’s not too late to include waste reduction in your New Year’s Resolution. Throughout the year, I’ll be sharing tips on how you can reduce your waste at your business and at home.
Other than waste from food and liquid consumption, humans are the only species that leave waste. Nature has a plan for all its “waste” to be used as “food” for other processes. Zero waste is simply a goal to keep all waste out of our landfills by reusing all material, just like as in nature. We need to relook at how we view our trash and see all discarded materials are valuable resources for others to use.
Here are some simple ways to get closer to zero waste:
Go digital- Is there an office function currently using paper that could be paperless? .- Ensure all office printers are set to double-sided printing as the default.
Reuse office supplies- Develop a program to collect and redistribute unwanted office supplies and/or materials internally or externally.
Use reusable food ware- Provide reusable/durable alternatives to disposable service ware in employee break rooms and common areas, and to customers if applicable.
Recycle – Check to see that all items that can be recycled are, whether in the main mixed recycling collection system, or taken individually to the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials. And if you are a business in Athens-Clarke County, you are required to recycled per Ordinance Sec. 5-2-14 (i).
Compost – Here in Athens, composting can include virtually anything that used to be alive. This includes food scraps of course, but can include non-recyclable paper (like paper hand towels.)
Close the loop- Buying products made of recycled content closes the loop where you buy something, it gets recycled and then you buy it again.
Denise Plemmons, our Commercial Recycling Specialist and TRUE Advisor, is available to help your business reach its zero waste goals. TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Zero Waste certification, administered by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), helps facilities define, pursue and achieve zero waste goals while becoming more resource efficient and preventing waste from being manufactured. TRUE Advisors lead businesses through best practices, tools for tracking and reporting waste diversion and access to essential TRUE resources. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.