5 tips to operate a more sustainable business!
Tip 1: Donating your coffee extras
Both coffee grounds and coffee pods have the possibility of being recycled or donated within your community. To reduce our office waste, we donate the coffee grounds to Buddina Community Gardens. Similarly, used coffee pods can be recycled through brands such as Nespresso, The Coffee Capsule Company and Seven Miles coffee pods.
Why are coffee grounds important to recycle?
When coffee grounds are sent to landfill, they decompose to produce the greenhouse biogas methane, which has more than 20 times the global warming capacity of carbon dioxide. It is also a potential source of hazardous pathogens and organic leachates that can contaminate surface and groundwater. When recycled coffee grounds are valuable organic matter and nutrients and can be recaptured for use as soil fertilisers, conditions and mulch while the methane biogas produced can be captured for electricity generation.
Tip 2: Product Swaps
Substituting harmful products for eco-friendly alternatives is an easy and effective way to minimise the carbon waste output of your business. We always choose to align ourselves with environmentally proactive brands and products that support us in our climate action journey. We have compiled a brief guide of product swaps we’ve made and you too can implement in your business.
Some products you can make the swap to are:
Cutlery - moving away from paper and plastic and using bamboo alternatives.
Tip 3: Paperless firm
Writing paper, printed paper, newspapers, magazines and packaging are in daily use by most Australians and can easily be eliminated or recycled. On average, each Australian consumes 230kg of paper products per year. To minimise our paper production and impact the Greenhalgh Pickard team has adapted to technology advances and implemented electronic communications such as Docusign and Xero.
For every tonne of non recycled paper produced it requires 20 full grown trees!
Paper is one of the most widely used consumer materials, being an important part of businesses and their everyday operation. Whilst being one of the most important materials, paper has another skill of being the most recyclable and transformable consumer-related materials. Recycling paper uses less natural resources, energy and water than manufacturing it from virgin materials.
Tip 4: Recycling – e-commerce and general recycling
As a business we choose to recycle not just materials but also e-waste. Officeworks have an incredible recycling section which can be used as a resource for businesses. Within our team we recycle printer cartridges, stationary, paper and more!
For businesses there are a range of recycling options including kerbside recycling, container deposit schemes, National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme and businesses such as Officeworks. Every year 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste is generated around the world with only 8% being recycled. Raw materials including gold, silver and platinum and base metals such as cobalt, tin and antimony can be fully recovered from electronics to be used in the production of new electronics. Recycling e-waste can be easily added to your business with many options to do so.
Tip 5: Bottle Reusability
91% of plastic around the world isn’t recycled but Queensland is attempting to improve this margin by implementing the “Containers for change scheme.” This scheme has increased the plastic and aluminum recycling rate from 35% in 2015 to 55% in 2020. Our team has collected every plastic, aluminum and glass bottle to dispose of at these dedicated recycling stations. Implementing this in your business improves the percentage of recycled plastic and prevents further damage to our environment.
Plastic takes more than 400 years to degrade, so most of it still exists in some form!
You’re on your way!
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