Zero-waste doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing in your company is ever thrown away. Some trash simply can’t be broken down, and that’s inevitable. However, being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be complicated or scary at all, and a lot of things won’t change around your office if you choose to pick up “zero-waste” business practices.
Moxie Sozo, a full-service advertising and design agency, adopted a zero-waste policy a few years back. They use a few simple rules that just about any firm could adopt to offset their carbon footprint.
Use Already-Used Notebooks
One of the largest steps forward as of late has been recycling paper notebooks and reforming the paper so it can be used again. The people at Moxie Sozo take it a step further. One of the largest ways a company wastes resources is through paper use, says Moxie Sozo’s owner, Leif Steiner. When you print one-sided documents, save the paper in a bin. Then when you need a notebook, bind all of the pages in the bin so that the blank side is face out. Once it’s full, Moxie Sozo recycles the book, but not until it’s all been used.
Multiple Recycling Bins for Different Materials
Most offices have a single bin for recycling, but Steiner says that’s simply not enough at his firm. The company has invested in multiple recycling bins for different products. Steiner says it “optimizes future recycling opportunities. We put corrugated cardboard boxes in different bins than laser paper. With proper recycling, paper can be recycled many times and we don’t want to pollute the recycling stream.”
Don’t Chuck the Packaging
Steiner says many companies don’t even realize you can re-use packing materials, but Moxie Sozo does. They even reuse the Styrofoam peanuts that come in boxes, and the boxes themselves. Using this tactic saves the company a few dollars every year.
Don’t Ship – Digitalize
Steiner says that his company used to ship four or five boxes a day about ten years ago. But with the age of technology upon them, the company has found that it’s much easier to just deal with most of the information exchange online. Free applications like GoogleDocs and Dropbox have been invaluable when exchanging information, and the amount of packages they’ve had to ship has dropped drastically. “Now, we upload everything online and ship about one package a week,” says Steiner.
A company can start with the little things and work their way up. If your company needs a little motivation, it should be noted that consumers seem to love firms that make an effort to help the environment. “Being green has paid huge dividends from a financial standpoint,” says Steiner. “We’ve been able to pick up multiple clients because of our dedication to the environment. Clients want to be associated with companies that are conscious about their effect on the planet.”