Updated: Jun 5
Each and every business activity will have some kind of impact on the environment, so it is very important to have an understanding of how your processes are currently impacting the environment locally and globally, so you can review and make improvements where possible. These improvements don’t have to be huge, and definitely don’t have to break the bank, but lots of these small changes help to make a difference. We have been trialing a few new practices in the office to see how easy and effective they can be!
Food waste bins
One of the easiest changes we have made is the introduction of an office food waste bin. This is a bin we mostly use for tea bags! Companies with large amounts of food waste can pay for this to be collected via waste collection services. Disposing of food waste in this way will help to significantly reduce the amount of food waste going to landfills with your normal black bin rubbish, where it will create methane- a greenhouse gas. Instead, the food waste can be used to create green energy and fertiliser! While the additional waste collection may cost you money, you should save money on your general waste collection, and increase your landfill diversion.
Reusable Brita cartridges
Being a company based in Portsmouth, we have had to deal with the struggles of living with hard, chalky water. Consequently, we have killed many kettles by filling them straight from the tap. We decided to purchase a Brita jug to solve the issue, which filters the water and so doesn’t cause chalky build-up. Success! But, after a few months the filter cartridges began to pile up… and having few options to recycle them, we did some research and found Phox- this is a re-usable, refillable cartridge that fits normal Brita jugs. All you do is buy an initial cartridge, and refill it every 45 days with new filter granules. This reduces single waste plastic going to landfill, and the refill packs are actually cheaper than the Brita ones!
We all know energy prices are increasing, and one way we recommend keeping costs down is by using smart plugs on any accessory you can- particularly portable heaters and AC units. We have quite a lot of these in the office, and if plugged in and turned on constantly, this uses a lot of energy. Smart plugs can be controlled by an app, where you can turn them on and off remotely, and also set timers for them to come on- for example, we set our heaters to turn on a couple of hours before we start work so it’s toasty when we come in, and turn them off a couple of hours before we leave so the heat won’t be wasted. These can also be used to make sure accessories are turned off when you leave, instead of going around your workplace turning everything off individually, which gives you a bit of peace of mind! Most smart plugs are inexpensive and can be bought in bulk for a bigger cost saving.
There are a few different platforms for businesses to give back to the environment and community. We have used a couple of these in the office to integrate with our processes- for example, when a new proposal is signed, we pay for 5 trees to be planted via Ecologi. This ensures we give back to the environment and helps to balance our impact. This is not a money-saving technique- you are paying for the contributions, though many of them are affordable while still being vital causes.
This just goes to show small changes can transform your environmental impact, and even save you money while doing so. There are so many more activities that can be swapped and changed for more eco-friendly ones, so make sure to research and see how you can make some easy swaps!