Global Recycling Day is Heading Your Way!
Get prepared with three feel-good green business initiatives today – and perhaps even save some money!
Take initiative! It’s time to go green and the ability to do so has never been easier or more important than this moment. March 18 is Global Recycling Day, an international holiday that recognizes how much the Earth provides for us and what a major opportunity we have right now to make the most of it. Originally started in 1969 by Senator Nelson after a catastrophic oil spill, this important movement eventually led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as well as several other long-lasting health and safety measures.
According to the Global Recycling Foundation, which sponsors this day, “Each year the ‘Seventh Resource’ (Recyclables) saves over 700 million tons in CO2 emissions and is projected to increase to 1 billion tons by 2030. There is no doubt recycling is on the front line in the war to save the future of our planet and humanity.”
As a business owner, you might be thinking, what can my business do to help? Here are three impactful ways to focus your efforts toward giving back:
1. Reduce All Single-Use Items
What’s the number one thing your business can do today that will make an instant difference? Swap out every single-use item that you use consistently in favor of more sustainable options. For staff, that might mean replacing coffee pods, single-use coffee cups and water cups or plastic bottles with real ceramic mugs, brewed coffee or a filtered water station. Another green tip? Take a month to simply make note of every single-use item your business consumes. Make sure to consider unsuspecting single-use items like ink cartridges. Once the month is up, evaluate your list and see if there are more sustainable alternatives to those items on the market.
2. Make Sustainable Choices
As consumers, we always have a choice as to what we purchase. Yes – you will always need a printer, a coffee machine and water for your working space but how you choose to obtain these essentials is up to you. These days there are now dozens of recyclable and compostable options for these everyday essentials. Coffee pods, for example, now come in fully recyclable and compostable options. And as for printing and labeling, there are now compostable and recyclable options available that are made of sustainable materials such as potato starch and cardboard corrugate respectively. For a business that prints labels daily, such as a jewelry boutique, this small daily change can amount to a huge waste difference in the long run!
3. Broaden Your Recycling Scope
Recycling isn’t just about plastic. For example, did you know that wood is the actually one of the most recyclable materials on the planet? It can be repurposed as building material, landscaping mulch, or paper. As a small business, there are tons of materials you encounter on the daily that could be upcycled. Steel, aluminum, glass, cardboard, paper, plastics, and colored plastic containers are all recyclable. In fact, the Steel Recycling Institute says that steel recycling saves enough energy annually to electrically power around 18 million homes for a whole year! And it’s not just obvious materials either. What about gold? Or copper? Yep, your small business has treasure in the form of gold or copper, too – and it’s valuable! Where is it? Hidden in your electronics. Don’t toss out old electronics that leak dangerous chemicals into the soil. Upcycle them to manufacturers who can sustainably harvest them and prevent chemical waste in the environment.
Good for the Planet – Good for Your Business
All of this brings us to our final point. It’s not just good for the environment to recycle, it’s also great for your business! How?
Recycling can save you a ton of money yearly – and not just in the obvious ways. Many companies, like Zebra for example, offer convenient recycling programs where you can trade in your old devices and receive credit toward brand new technology purchases. Besides trade-ins, businesses can also sometimes get cost savings for bringing in items such as batteries, ink cartridges and more. Additionally, there’s an opportunity to even lower the costs you spend on waste. If your company produces items or baked goods for example, there’s a strong chance that your business pays a waste management fee. In many cases, if you create a trackable recycling program where you can prove lower waste results you can potentially negotiate your waste management service for a lower fee. Or you may be eligible to apply for grants that provide incentives to small businesses that run green!
Finally, recycling has the potential to make everyone happier – including you, your customers and employees. Kind of surprising right? But it makes sense when you think about it. While it might not seem like a big deal, increased employee morale can make a huge difference for your business in everything from reduced employee turnover to increased staff loyalty. Similarly, chances are you have plenty of customers right now who care about the environment and would prefer to do business with a company that does too. That means that utilizing and showcasing sustainable practices can boost your brand reputation.
So why wait? Take initiative today on something you and your employees are sure to feel great about.
Did You Know?!
Zebra makes eco-friendly label printers! Our label cartridges are fully recyclable, made from potato starch and can be planted in your garden for easy composting. Plus, the packaging and box are made entirely of recyclable cardboard! Learn more about the ZSB Series Printers here.