Eco-Friendly Waste Management Strategies for Your Business
It’s never been more critical for businesses to improve their waste management. The U.S. generates more than 260 million tons of waste a year, and that figure keeps growing. Business is booming, but environmental concerns are increasing, making eco-friendly waste management a must.
Taking better care of your business’s waste protects the environment and saves money. The less you throw away, the less your disposal costs are, and when you only use what you need, you don’t spend as much. Better waste management will also help you appeal more to eco-conscious customers and partners.
The benefits of eco-friendly waste management are clear, but understanding how to pursue it may not be. To help you with that, here are five waste management strategies you can adopt:
1. Audit Your Waste Management
Perhaps the most helpful strategy to use is performing regular waste management audits. If you don’t know where you could improve, it’ll be challenging to make any meaningful changes. By partnering with a professional waste auditor, you can inform your future strategies.
A waste audit will show you where you’re falling short and what you’re doing well. You can then use this information to adjust your waste management, fixing what needs improvement and leaving the already-effective components alone.
2. Approach Waste on a Granular Level
You probably know the importance of recycling, but you can take that a step further, too. Different kinds of waste require various disposal techniques, so the more granular your waste management is, the more helpful it is. Instead of providing only trash and recycling bins, offer a variety of specific ones.
Two major waste categories for businesses to consider are electronic waste, or e-waste, and compost. E-waste, like old office equipment, can release toxic materials into the environment if you don’t recycle them properly. Composting can help eliminate organic waste like food and improve soil quality in the community.
3. Eliminate Single-Use Items As Much as Possible
From plastic bottles to product packaging, people use a lot of single-use items today. Since you only use these once, they’re a huge source of waste for businesses and individuals alike. If you avoid these as much as possible, you can substantially reduce your environmental impact.
If you can switch to reusable or reduced packaging, you’ll take care of much of this waste. You can also provide reusable water bottles or coffee cups for employees to help them avoid plastic or paper alternatives.
4. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Today’s technology can be a massive resource for reducing your business’s waste. Paper is often a company’s largest single source of waste, so going paperless can work wonders. If you use cloud storage and electronic documents for all your information, you’ll see marked improvements in no time.
Energy waste is an often-overlooked area that technology can address, too. Smart thermostats can help you measure and reduce the amount of electricity you use in heating and cooling the building. Since the pollution from heating buildings causes 10,000 deaths a year, this is a considerable step forward.
5. Gamify Waste Reduction
If you want to make a significant impact on your business’s waste management, you’ll need to get everyone involved. An excellent way to do that is to turn waste reduction and management into a game. If you offer incentives for recycling and reduction, you can increase employee engagement in this process.
Gamification like this can increase participation by 32.2% by engaging people on a deeper level. When you have more people actively involved, you may also get more perspectives and ideas on how to improve.
Sustainability Helps Both Your Business and the Environment
When you adopt eco-friendly waste management strategies, you help protect the environment and save money. The benefits of these practices far outweigh any associated costs you might run into. When you take an eco-friendly approach to waste management, everybody gains something.
Bio: Emily covers topics in sustainability, conservation and green technology. You can read more of her work on her blog, Conservation Folks.