© 2014 Green Living Science

  GET KEEN ON BEING GREEN  

 

IT'S NO PUZZLE—recycling makes sense. The concept is simple: recycling turns materials that would otherwise become waste into valuable resources. But recycling is just the first in a chain of events that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits accrue locally as well as globally. When all the pieces of recycling are put together, the overwhelming conclusion is that recycling boosts the economy, conserves natural resources, and improves your business/workplace.

 

To stay competitive, companies must continually find new ways to improve efficiency and cut costs. Preventing solid waste (source reduction) offers significant cost savings. But where do you find the biggest savings for your company? First, identify each of your key business operations. Then, for each key operation, identify the products and materials used or generated in the largest quantities. Depending on your company, you may find the greatest cost savings in the following areas:

  • shipping and receiving (reducing transport packaging)

  • office operations (reducing paper that is mailed or used internally)

  • manufacturing (reducing process waste or the amount of material used in a product).

 

Remember that the greatest waste prevention savings often accrue from avoided purchasing costs. This means that for any of the above areas, purchasing records can be an important key for identifying major purchases so they can be evaluated for waste prevention potential. The Bee Green! Business education program can help your company identiy these areas for waste prevention potential as well as teach your employees how to prevent and reduce waste in these areas.

 

Here are some example potential areas to consider:

  • Perhaps employees could view it online and only print essential pages?

  • Perhaps we could shorten the report?Is there a way to reduce these corrugated boxes before they are recycled?

  • Perhaps we could switch to reusable containers or reduce the box size?

  • Could these pallets be repaired or the wood reused for another purpose?

  • Could our product packaging use less or lighter-weight material?

  • Could the product be redesigned to use less material?A lot of excess material is generated by the production process— is the equipment as efficient as possible?

  • Could the excess material be reduced through changes in operator practices or materials?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sources: 

michiganrecycles.org

epa.gov

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