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The whys and hows of cutting waste generation in business

As we all have stepped away from our businesses across the county, perhaps it is a good time to consider some new waste-reduction strategies for when we return to the office. There are numerous ways and reasons to reduce our impact on the environment in our communities.

Ways to Reduce in the workplace
  • REFUSE to use single-use plastic
  • REPLACE disposable materials with reusable items
  • REDUCE the amount of waste generated, such as unnecessary packaging
  • REUSE office supplies and other items; set up a reuse cabinet
  • RECYCLE whenever possible, and clearly communicate recyclable materials.
  • REPURPOSE by donating or purchasing used furniture, office equipment and other supplies to/from local charities. Participate in a waste exchange with another business able to use your discarded materials.
For managers
  • Provide an effective recycling program for customers and employees.
  • Periodically monitor and record conservation-related statistics.
  • Have brainstorming sessions to generate ideas on how to prevent,
  • reduce, reuse and/or repurpose waste. Reward good suggestions.
  • Develop a company policy statement emphasizing resource conservation and sustainability.
  • Include environmental practices in performance appraisals, job descriptions, training programs and/or employee orientations.
Office measures to consider
  • Institute double-sided (duplex) copying to reduce paper use and mailing costs.
  • Unsubscribe catalogs, magazines, publications and junk mail. Remove business from unwanted mailing lists.
  • Reuse file folders, envelopes and packaging materials.
  • Purchase refillable toner cartridges from companies that accept returned empties.

Consider joining the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership, a network of businesses that have incorporated and demonstrated verified environmental measures and practices within their business.

Already more than 200 members strong, the Green Business Partnership is open to all businesses in Sarasota County. Program certification includes an on-site verification of reduction, reuse and conservation practices in business operations, solid waste management, recycling, energy and water consumption.

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