Zero Waste Trends in the United States

Most people don’t see what happens to their trash. They throw it in a black plastic bag, toss the bag into a dumpster and the trash man collects it once a week and makes it disappear. Magic, right?

Wrong.

Most of our trash ends up in a landfill where it is buried and mixed in with decades-worth of junk. Certain items will break down over time while others are essentially just stored there, in a graveyard of forgotten items and a mountain of garbage.

In the year since China banned the import of other countries’ plastic recyclables, the global recycling industry has been in flux, resulting in plastics ending up in landfills, incinerators and littering the environment. This is causing countries and citizens across the globe to reexamine their recycling systems and highlights the need for zero waste practices.

Zero waste is the concept of eliminating the amount of trash thrown away by only purchasing reusable items. That’s a significant shift from the 4.4 pounds of trash that the average American tosses every day. But certain trends are helping make the idea of zero waste a reality in the United States. Let us have a look:

Replace Single-Use Packaging With Reusable Materials

Way too many plastic items that we use every day are meant to be used only once. And the amount of packaging that goes into shipping one box, that will simply get tossed in the garbage after the parcel is unwrapped, is astounding. In fact, 40 percent of plastic produced is packaging, which is thrown away after it arrives at your doorstep.

Plastic bag and straw bans are on the rise across the globe. Consumers are becoming more conscious of how their use of these items contributes to the trash crisis. Recent data shows that customers are more likely to buy products from brands that promote sustainable business practices.

biodegradeable-packaging

Reduce Energy Waste By Choosing Renewable Options

Many industries are opting to reduce energy waste by pursuing renewable energy sources. U.S. manufacturers account for 30 percent of the nation’s energy consumption, which means manufacturers must take the lead in reducing fossil fuel consumption and energy waste.

The U.S. is the leader in energy waste. Americans spend $350 billion on energy costs each year, yet three-quarters of that energy goes to waste. One way to reduce the burden on our power grid — and our wallets — from all that lost energy is by switching to renewable energy sources.

Air compressors are vital to the upkeep of a successful farm, and many producers in the agricultural sector are also reducing waste by switching to high-powered air compressors that, when properly maintained, can reduce energy usage and cut costs.

Eliminate Food Waste

About 94 percent of food waste ends up in landfills, which contribute to methane gas emissions. Reducing food waste not only helps the environment, but it also decreases the amount you have to spend at the grocery store. It also helps to conserve energy, as less power is needed to grow and produce food if less is wasted.

Individual consumers can help eliminate food waste by freezing leftovers to preserve them and composting uneaten food, as opposed to tossing in the trash.

Restaurants can use these tactics and others to cut down on food waste, such as donating leftovers and properly training staff to get on board with waste reduction. They can also hire auditors to help them identify ways to reduce waste and streamline business practices.

Never Too Late to Make a Change

Though the statistics may seem disheartening, the reality is that it’s never too late to make a change in your individual or business habits to help cut down on waste and work toward the goal of accomplishing zero waste. Following these trends and implementing others is just one way to do your part to eliminate waste and protect the environment.

How Companies Can Streamline Energy Consumption

Recent projections show that the world’s energy demands are about to increase by close to 25% between now and 2030. Population and wealth growth are the leading factors behind the increased need for energy. Additionally, issues related to pollution and climate change are compelling companies and investors alike with respect to how they produce and use energy.

energy-company

Grs a global resource solutions company offers a plethora of services that could help industries reshape and streamline their energy consumption.

Energy efficiency is playing a vital role in helping the world achieve its power needs and progress.

Increase in Fuel Prices

The prices of energy have kept rising over the years even when oil prices have dropped as was the case in 2014-2015. Such sudden fluctuations can be difficult for businesses to deal with. Also, declines in energy prices have called into question whether the efforts in energy conservation and efficiency are worth it.

According to various financial analyses, energy costs form a considerable chunk of operating expenses. Worldwide, cement, chemical, mining and metal companies, for instance, spend almost 30% of their operating budget on energy. Additionally, the percent of the budget spent on energy is higher in developing nations due to the cheap cost of labor.

Energy Efficiency

Statistics and research show that operational upgrades can cut energy consumption by approximately 20%. Nonetheless, investment in energy efficiency technologies can reduce energy usage by even 50%.

The reports and findings show that it is not a pipe dream for manufacturing entities, which account for almost half of the world’s energy usage, to meet energy requirements in a way that is environmentally friendly and economical as well. Advanced technology could substantially reduce energy usage and save companies more than six hundred billion dollars per year.

reduce-energy-use

There are technologies currently in place that can help companies reduce energy consumption. The ideas cover a range of manufacturing and production companies like cement, mining, oil refining and chemicals. Nonetheless, firms are facing the challenge of how to put energy efficiency technology in place how to renew the technology so that it stays relevant year in and year out.

1. Think Circular

Consider your product to be a future source that can be used many times. In other words, when developing a product, strive to move away from the traditional linear supply chain. Take, for example, a data services provider. Put in place the think circular standard by using an analytics system to develop a facility that restructures energy to its core function. This results in more capacity and less operational expenses.

Circular-Economy

2. Profit Per Hour

Whenever making any changes, remember to create a comprehensive review of the full profit equation. During the study, evaluate aspects such as yield, throughput and energy. Nonetheless, profit should be of the highest priority before effecting any changes.

3. Think Lean

It is vital for an organization to create a resource productivity plan. Lean thinking and green thinking are based on similar principles and will blend in together well.

4. Think Holistic

When making changes, ensure that they not only focus on a specific aspect. Instead, you should also focus on the management system, behavior and mindsets.

How to Incorporate Sustainability into Your Business?

Since catapulting to the frontlines of news headlines and global consciousness, climate change is one of the most talked about and concerning topics of the modern age. Fortunately with this shift in cognition, manufacturers all across the globe have banded together to create green products in hopes of a more eco-friendly future. It’s these very products that can transform any business from a wasteful guzzler to a green success. With this guide, we’ll walk you through how you can incorporate sustainability into your daily business practice.

1. LED bulbs

Switch out the incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs for a longer-lasting and more energy-efficient brilliance. Compact-fluorescent (CFL) and LED light bulbs tend to carry higher price tags than the average fluorescent bulb, however they offer a far more attractive projected lifespan than typical fluorescent bulbs which tend to offer 1,200 hours of  light.

LED bulbs, on average, cost around $5 and offer 25,000 hours of light, while CFL light bulbs cost about $2 and offer 10,000 hours of projected lifespan. Not only are CFL and LED lights more practical from a sustainability standpoint, but they will also save you thousands on your business’s electric bill.

2. Biodegradable Kitchen Supplies

Using biodegradable kitchen supplies to save on plastic waste. Unless your office is the type of place where employees keep personal dishes in the kitchen cupboard, you will likely need to keep a stash of utensils, cups, and plates on deck for any catered lunches or work parties.

Instead of giving into the cheap prices of eco-unfriendly plastic ware, invest in biodegradable kitchen packaging for a greener feast. With fewer resource requirements, these biodegradable forks, spoons, and knives will leave your business with a reduced carbon footprint.

Green SMEs

3. Ink cartridge recycling

Recycling ink cartridges is a great practice to put in place for businesses equipped with a number of printers. Believe it or not, the vast majority of discarded ink cartridges end up in harmful, toxic landfills that eventually end up in our oceans. Ink cartridge recycling is the most eco-friendly solution to this preventable problem. There are a number of simple ways to take those empty cartridges off your hands and into the hands of a trusted recycler:

  • Find a local recycling facility: You may not even know where your local recycle center is located. Luckily Earth911 can guide you to the nearest location for easy cartridge recycling.
  • Find a local office supply store: Did you know most office supply stores offer recycle programs? Check online or call in to see if they accept ink cartridges.
  • Consider refilling original cartridges: Do a bit of research on the brand of your empty ink cartridge. You may find that they are able to refill your cartridge and you won’t ever have to worry about tossing them!

4. Opening windows

Opening up windows is an easy solution to a stuffy, warm office. When people are packed like sardines into their tiny cubicles, the air can quickly become stale and stifling. Instead of wasting money and energy on air conditioning, open a few windows to let fresh air flow in.

Air conditioners put hydrofluorocarbons, a type of greenhouse gas emission, into the environment—so while you may feel refreshed, the earth is further harmed. Reduce your business’ contribution by saving the AC for the more-unbearable summer days.

5. Adopt renewable energy

Invest in renewable energy sources for a long-term, energy-efficient, and eco-friendly power solution. Every year, we see more and more solar panels sitting atop rooftops, which means the time to invest in solar panels is now. By converting sunlight into a sustainable power source, solar panels are the greenest source of energy on the planet today. Solar energy can be used heat buildings and provide energy to power lights on.

what-is-community-solar

6. Make use of post-consumer waste

Turning to post-consumer waste (PCW) to escape the cycle of high-volume paper waste is an exceptional solution for any company that uses a lot of paper. PCW paper is paper re-made at recycling facilities. According to the Environmental Paper Network Paper Calculator, PCW paper saves on

  • 5,610 gallons of water
  • 5,000,000 BTU of energy
  • 376 pounds of solid waste
  • 1,035 pounds of CO2 greenhouse gas emissions

Bottom Line

In 2021, there are no more excuses for why a business is stuck in the past. The future can be a bright one if we all put our best foot forward and make the effort to make our spaces greener!

A Guide to Sustainable Waste Management for Businesses

There are many reasons to adopt sustainability as your main guiding policy in conducting business. With environmental problems becoming more prevalent worldwide, consumers seem to show a strong preference for businesses that adhere to environmental ethics. A sustainable business strategy can thus give you an edge over competitors. But business sustainability is tightly connected to waste management because any business activity generates waste that can harm the environment.

In this article, you’ll discover a detailed guide to sustainable waste management for businesses that want to build an eco-friendly identity.

waste-management-in-companies

Identify Wasteful Activities

Whether you deliver products or services, analyze your business practices and determine what activities produce the largest amounts of waste. Most importantly, determine whether these waste-generating activities can be avoided or reduced. For example, paper consumption in offices is often wasteful and can be easily reduced by avoiding unnecessary printing and copying and working predominantly with electronic files.

So, identify all wasteful activities in your company. Then implement a series of rules to avoid these activities or reduce their recurrence. Much better than implementing a sustainable waste management system is not to generate waste at all.

Reuse, Recycle or Donate

Pay attention to the waste generated in your company and determine which items or components can be reused, recycled, or donated. In many cases, what you consider waste can find an application elsewhere.  Good waste management involves foremost an assessment of whether an item has lost all functional and practical purposes or is fit for other uses inside your company or elsewhere.

Always consider reusing items that haven’t lost their properties or features. Instruct employees to recycle. Add bins in the office for materials such as paper, cardboard, plastic, glass, or aluminum. Never send electronics, office equipment, furniture, or tools to the landfill. Either send them to a recycling facility or donate them to a charity.

Create a Disposal Plan

It’s almost impossible to avoid all waste since even raw materials and supplies can turn into waste due to being contaminated or damaged. This is why you need a waste disposal plan that it’s either dangerous to keep on your premises or cannot be recycled. For example, old and unused fuels can become contaminated and require removal from a specialized service.

waste-management-plan

To maintain a clean, healthy, and safe environment for your employees and customers, create a disposal plan for each type of waste. Ideally, only biodegradable waste should go to the landfill.

Conclusion

Although a business can find it difficult not to generate waste, it’s important to develop a waste management system that takes into consideration environmental concerns. Businesses need raw materials, supplies, tools, electronics, and various equipment to function properly. They also need energy, electricity, and water. And because businesses consume so many tangible and intangible resources, governments and customers expect them to show a sense of responsibility for the environment.

By adopting a sustainable waste management system, you demonstrate an ethical, future-oriented business approach. Perform a waste audit and use the tips above to set waste-minimization goals for your business.

Waste Minimisation – Role of Public, Private and Community Sector

When it comes to waste minimisation and moving material up the waste hierarchy you will find partisan advocates for the roles of the public, private and community sectors. Each will tell you the reasons why their sector’s approach is the best. The private sector will extol their virtues as the only ones capable of efficiently and effectively doing the job.  They rightly note that they are the providers on the front lines who actually recover the vast majority of material, that the private sector approach drives innovation and efficiency, and that if waste minimisation is to be sustainable this must include economic sustainability.

 

The community sector on the other hand will make a strong case to say that their model, because it commonly encompasses social, environmental, and economic outcomes, is able to leverage value from recovered materials to dig deeper into the waste stream, to optimise recovered material quality, and to maximise employment and local economic benefit.

Before recycling and composting were economically viable prospects, community sector organisations led the way, developing many of the techniques now widely used. They remain the leaders in marginal areas such as furniture reuse, running projects that deliver environmental outcomes while providing wider community benefits such as rehabilitation and training for marginalised groups.

Finally, in the public sector corner, advocates will point out that the profit-driven private sector will only ever recover those materials that are able to generate positive revenues, and so cannot maximise waste minimisation, while social outcomes are strictly a secondary consideration. The community sector, on the other hand, while encompassing non-monetary values and capable of effective action on a local scale, is not set up to deliver these benefits on a larger scale and can sometimes struggle to deliver consistent, professional levels of service.

The public sector can point to government’s role in legislating to promote consistent environmental and social outcomes, while councils are major providers and commissioners of recycling services and instrumental in shaping public perceptions around waste issues. The public sector often leads in directing activity towards non-monetary but otherwise valuable outcomes, and provides the framework and funding for equity of service levels.

So who is right? Each sector has good arguments in its favour, and each has its weaknesses. Does one approach carry the day?  Should we just mix and match according to our personal taste or based on what is convenient?

Perhaps we are asking the wrong question. Maybe the issue is not “which approach is better?” but instead “how might the different models help us get to where we ultimately want to go?”

Smells Like Waste Minimisation

So where do we want to go?  What is the waste minimisation end game?

If we think about things from a zero waste perspective, the ideal is that we should move from linear processes of extraction, processing, consumption and disposal, to cyclical processes that mimic nature and that re-integrate materials into economic and natural systems.  This is the nirvana – where nothing is ‘thrown away’ because everything has a further beneficial use.  In other words what we have is not waste but resources.  Or to put it another way – everything has value.

Assuming that we continue to operate in an essentially capitalist system, value has to be translated into economic terms.  Imagine if every single thing that we now discard was worth enough money to motivate its recovery.  We would throw nothing away: why would we if there was money to be made from it?

So in a zero waste nirvana the private sector and the community sector would take care of recovery almost automatically.  There might evolve a community and private sector mix, with each occupying different niches depending on desired local outcomes. There would be no need for the public sector to intervene to promote waste minimisation.  All it would need to do would be to set some ground rules and monitor the industry to ensure a level playing field and appropriate health and safety.

Sectoral Healing

Returning to reality, we are a long way from that zero waste nirvana.  As things stand, a bunch of materials do have economic value, and are widely recycled. Another layer of materials have marginal value, and the remainder have no value in practical terms (or even a negative value in the case of hazardous wastes).

The suggested shift in perspective is most obvious in terms of how we think about the role of the public sector. To bring us closer to our goal, the public sector needs to intervene in the market to support those materials of marginal value so that they join the group that has genuine value.

Kerbside (or curbside) collection of certain materials, such as glass and lower value plastics, is an example of an activity that is in effect subsidised by public money. These subsidies enable the private sector to achieve environmental outcomes that we deem sufficiently worthwhile to fund.

However, the public sector should not just be plugging a gap in the market (as it largely does now), but be working towards largely doing itself out of a job. If we are to progress towards a cyclical economy, the role of the public sector should not be to subsidise marginal materials in perpetuity, but to progressively move them from marginal to genuinely economic, so that they no longer require support.

At the same time new materials would be progressively targeted and brought through so that the range and quantity requiring disposal constantly shrinks.  This suggests a vital role for the public sector that encompasses research, funding for development of new technologies and processes, and setting appropriate policy and price structures (such as through taxes, levies, or product stewardship programmes).

Similarly, the community sector, because it is able to ‘dig deeper’ into the waste stream, has a unique and ongoing role to play in terms of being able to more effectively address those materials of marginal value as they begin to move up the hierarchy.  The community sector’s unique value is its ability to work at the frontiers.

Meanwhile, the private sector’s resources and creativity will be needed to enable efficient systems to be developed to manage collection, processing and recycling of materials that reach the threshold of economic viability – and to create new, more sustainable products that fit more readily into a waste minimising world.

In the end, then, perhaps the answer is to stop seeing the three models as being in competition. Instead, we should consciously be utilising the unique characteristics of each so that we can evolve our practices towards a future that is more functional and capable of delivering the circular economy that must eventuate if we are to sustain ourselves on this planet.

Note: The article is being republished with the kind permission of our collaborative partner Isonomia. The original article can be viewed at this link

How Can Save Money on Commercial Outdoor Lighting?

Do you want to install outdoor lighting on your grounds but not want to overspend on it? Want a nice brightly lit yard in front of your establishment at minimal costs? Well here’s an article to help you pick the perfect outdoor lighting for your establishment.

When it comes to commercial outdoor lighting there are many companies that may sell fixtures that look promising, however, not every fixture can meet your budget. Some of them may not even hold up to the standard which the company claims, so here are a few points to pick the right outdoor lighting:

outdoor-lighting

1. The right type

The question of what kind of lighting works best in your scenario is solved best with an explanation of where and how each type is used.

  • Wall lights: These are most commonly used wherever there is a vertical surface. Commonly used on buildings and walls. Commonly used for porches, patios, and entryways.
  • Hanging lights: A very pretty light, hanging lights work excellently under any roofed area. They are more resistant to damp climates provided they are not directly exposed to the rain. Commonly used for covered patios
  • Post or Pier mounted lights: These are fixtures mounted on posts and are especially useful as they can be placed directly in the open. Their wet rating ensures that they have good resistance to the weather. Pier mounted lights work similarly to posts lights except they must be mounted on a column or wall. Commonly used for outdoor walkways and driveways
  • Landscape Lights: Landscape lights are generally low voltage lighting that is separate from the wall and ceiling lights listed. By efficient use of path lights, spotlights, and floodlights, you can give your property a wonderful look even in the darkest of nights. Commonly used for gardens and landscapes
  • Security Fixtures: These are motion lights that glow when triggered by movement.

2. The right size

When it comes to size, they depend on where you plan to install your outdoor lights. Each lighting setup looks better in different sizes. These will be mentioned below:

  • Porch Wall lights: These look best when they are about one-third the height of the door when only a single fixture is used. However, when two fixtures are used, you could go with lights around a fourth of the height of your door.
  • Ceiling lights: These should be of a suitable size and dimensions depending on the size, also remember to make sure that your room has enough height to keep fit the room.
  • Post and Pier Mounted lights: Fixtures may be of different sizes which mostly depend on the number of bulbs used. If you’re using a pole mounted design, 7 foot tall is considered the right size.

3. Outdoor conditions and needs

The kind of lighting you use will significantly vary depending on what kind of need you have for it. This can be a significant factor in your choice.

  • Water rating: Depending on where you want to use your lamp, it is categorized into wet and damp. Wet rated lamps are used in settings where the lamp is directly exposed to weather. Damp rated lamps are used in places not directly exposed to the elements.
  • Time of usage: This covers whether you plan to keep your lights constantly running or use lights such as motion sensor lights or automatic lights.

Once you have this under wraps, you can pat yourself on the back as you’ve done more than half the job, but now comes the tough part, finding a fixture that is both useful for your particular need as well as affordable.

solar-powered-lights

So how do you find this perfect outdoor lamp?

Well, here are the points which you need to search for in an outdoor lighting fixture to ensure that it fits in well with your budget:

a. Using LED lighting

LEDs are some of the least power consuming bulbs and can thus save you a fortune in electricity prices.

b. Timed lights

By using motion triggered lighting you not only increase the safety of your establishment but also reduce the total electricity consumption of your lighting.

c. Strong, high quality fixtures

By investing in fixtures resistant to wear and tear, you end up with longer lasting lamps, this results in less maintenance costs and thus lower expenses.

d. Solar Power

By using solar powered lighting along with the aforementioned techniques you will be able to sustain a continuous output of light for the entirety of the night.

Issues Confronting Biomass Energy Ventures

Biomass resources can be transformed into clean energy and/or fuels by thermal and biochemical technologies. Besides recovery of substantial energy, these technologies can lead to a substantial reduction in the overall waste quantities requiring final disposal.

Biomass_Cogeneration

However, biomass energy projects worldwide are often hampered by a variety of techno-commercial issues. The issues enumerated below are not geography-specific and are usually a matter of concern for project developers, entrepreneurs and technology companies:

Large Project Costs

In India, a 1 MW gasification plant usually costs about USD 1-1.5 million. A combustion-based 1 MW plant would need a little more expenditure, to the tune of USD 1-2 million. An anaerobic digestion-based plant of the same capacity, on the other hand, could range anywhere upwards USD 3 million. Such high capital costs prove to be a big hurdle for any entrepreneur or renewable energy enthusiast to come forward and invest into these technologies.

Low Conversion Efficiencies

In general, efficiencies of combustion-based systems are in the range of 20-25% and gasification-based systems are considered even poorer, with their efficiencies being in the range of a measly 10-15%. The biomass resources themselves are low in energy density, and such poor system efficiencies could add a double blow to the entire project.

Dearth of Mature Technologies

Poor efficiencies call for a larger quantum of resources needed to generate a unit amount of energy. Owing to this reason, investors and project developers find it hard to go for such plants on a larger scale. Moreover, the availability of only a few reliable technology and operation & maintenance service providers makes these technologies further undesirable.

Gasification technology is still limited to scales lesser than 1 MW in most parts of the world. Combustion-based systems have although gone upwards of 1 MW, a lot many are now facing hurdles because of factors like unreliable resource chain, grid availability, and many others.

Lack of Funding Options

Financing agencies usually give a tough time to biomass project developers as compared to what it takes to invest in other renewable energy technologies.

Non-Transparent Trade Markets

Usually, the biomass energy resources are obtained through forests, farms, industries, animal farms etc. There is no standard pricing mechanism for such resources and these usually vary from vendor to vendor, even with the same resource in consideration.

High Risks / Low Pay-Backs

Biomass energy projects are not much sought-after owing to high project risks which could entail from failed crops, natural disasters, local disturbances, etc.

Resource Price Escalation

Unrealistic fuel price escalation too is a major cause of worry for the plant owners. Usually, an escalation of 3-5% is considered while carrying out the project’s financial modelling. However, it has been observed that in some cases, the rise has been as staggering as 15-20% per annum, forcing the plants to shut down.

5 Benefits of Biodegradable Packaging for Businesses

Consumers want companies to reflect their values. They’re far more likely to purchase from a business with an identity, whether it manifests in charitable efforts or eco-friendly practices. As a greater number of people show interest in green living, biodegradable packaging presents an opportunity for growth.

That said, the virtues of biodegradable packaging extend beyond an improved public image. While business owners enjoy the superficial advantages of this transition, they often find it’s only a fraction of what the shift entails. Through switching to biodegradable plastics, they see considerable changes elsewhere.

bioplastics

In this article, we’ll detail five of those changes, exploring the subject to lend business owners a better understanding of biodegradable packaging within their operation. As we touch on the benefits, it’ll become clear that eco-friendly materials aren’t only better for the environment, but better for a company’s bottom line.

1. Free of Toxins & Allergens

Biodegradable packaging options are still somewhat limited, but most of the available materials are non-toxic and allergy-free. This is an essential consideration to consumers who care about the products they’re purchasing and the composition of their packaging. If either is potentially harmful, it hurts a business.

As often as businesses must send packages, forms, and other important information through the mail, packaging with the planet in mind and protecting your items is key. For example, your car accident lawyer in Queens may need to send you important documents through the mail. Getting your mail in safe, low-waste packaging can protect your health from harmful chemicals, aid the planet, and provide their clients with all they need to know.

An informed consumer will almost invariably choose products packaged with bioplastic over traditional alternatives, aware of the implications of their purchase. Considering the negative health effects of phthalates — a common chemical in plastic packaging — business owners should be aware of the implications as well.

2. Require Fewer Resources

Biodegradable packaging has the potential to reduce water usage, solid waste, electricity and emissions. This is beneficial for the environment, of course, but it also lowers expenses associated with the packaging process. Over time, the accumulated savings prove well worth the cost of the transition.

If a company were to replace their standard packaging materials with bioplastic, they would enjoy weight savings on par with regular plastic. Research shows plastic packaging enables weight savings of over 78 percent compared to alternative materials, a notable statistic for business owners looking to convert.

3. Lower Production Costs

Most biodegradable materials follow the three basic R’s of sustainability.

  1. A business can reduce them, using fewer resources to create thinner and tougher materials which do the same job.
  2. A business can reuse them, taking advantage of materials with special coating which improves their durability.
  3. A business can recycle them, diverting refuse from landfills as they minimize the costs of new materials.

A business owner who invests in biodegradable packaging can cut costs by a significant margin, using fewer resources, reusing their inventory and purchasing inexpensive recycled materials. In doing so, they’ll see reduced packaging expenses over time, and more freely allocate their money elsewhere.

biodegradeable-packaging

Reusing packaging is proving to be not only environmentally friendly, but an excellent marketing advantage. From Pinterest to Instagram, users are finding a way to re-purpose packaging. Business owners who are vocal in encouraging their customers to prioritize environmentally friendly choices can earn more goodwill and local business as a result. ToolTally is a good example of a blog that focuses on helping DIYers reuse products, and is growing an organic following as a result.

4. Reduced Footprint

A business owner has financial goals they have to meet, but they have environmental goals as well. Every professional in an upper-management position has a responsibility to ensure their company meets high standards of environmental compliance, and biodegradable packaging can help — outside a legal context.

To reinforce an earlier point, 70 percent of consumers between the ages of 15 and 20 want to buy goods from companies committed to sustainability, and biodegradable plastics affect the appeal of businesses which would otherwise see less attention. To reduce emissions and increase interest, change is necessary.

5. Convenient Disposal

Recyclable, compostable and biodegradable packaging simplifies disposal for the consumer. It affords them more options in discarding these materials, and companies should always seek to make their products convenient, from start to finish. Biodegradable materials exemplify this mindset.

For example, consumers who prefer to compost their refuse won’t have to make exceptions for packaging. They can add biodegradable packaging to their compost in much the same way they would with any other compost-friendly material, contributing to the product’s value beyond its primary utility.

Looking Toward the Future

When reviewing the benefits listed above, business owners should feel confident in their decision to adopt biodegradable packaging. More than superficial benefits, they’ll enjoy reduced costs and carbon emissions while increasing consumer convenience and reducing plastic pollution. The advantages are clear.

Looking toward the future, it’s safe to speculate more companies will transition toward eco-friendly practices. With this in mind, taking action now is the best option, and though biodegradable packaging is a small step, it’s an important one.

Everything You Need to Know About a Paperless Office

Businesses are the largest users of papers and this is taking a heavy toll on the forests and other natural resources. The paper production process consumes a lot of wood and water, besides generating effluents which are harmful for the environment.  One of the best ways a business can become environmentally-friendly is to minimize the use of paper in the workplace. Going paperless is one of the essential features of an eco-friendly office. The conversion of paper files into electronic documents is a key step in the journey towards a paperless office. But what is a paperless office and how can it benefit your organization? Read on to know more:

What is a Paperless Office?

A paper-free office uses the lowest amount of paper and relies heavily on digital documents, thus drastically reducing the use of paper in workplace.  But going paperless is not a magic wand and requires careful planning, organization and employee participation. The right set of tools and proper employee training is required to realise the dream of a paperless office.

paper-free-office

In addition to being eco-friendly, a paper-free office should also provide tangible benefits in order to motivate the office staff. Saving time and efforts through easier filing and document retrieval system is an important step in eliminating paper from the workplace. Another notable step is to replace individual printers with a centralized network printer to track paper usage and restrict the purchase of ink and toners.

The digital filing system is the heart of a paperless office. Digitizing your documentation will not only help in easy document filing but also aid in smooth and fast retrieval. Infact, a cloud-based document management system will enable employees to access important documents off-site, besides safe storage of documents.

Benefits of Going Paperless

Going paperless has numerous benefits for both the business owner and the employees, ranging from saving time and money to boosting security. It is important to analyse the use of paper in the workplace from an individual level upto the organizational level.

Let us analyse the major advantages of a paperless workplace:

1. Saves Time and Space

The filing, organizing and retrieval of paper documents is a time-taking process. Having an electronic filing system will enable file management to be done at the click of a mouse, thus helping business owners to assign employees to more productive and revenue-generating tasks.

Finding ample office space for the filing cabinets is a nightmare for many business owners as the files keeps piling up with each passing year. In particular, the problem is serious for industries having a long document retention time, such as government departments and financial sector.

A digital document management system allows you to store the documents in a cloud-based server with negligible physical footprint.

2. Saves Business Expenses

A paper-free office will reduce the business costs incurred on paper, printers, toners, files, filing cabinets and office space. Studies have shown that a paperless office has a better process efficiency and can handle a larger volume of documentation than traditional offices, thus making a significant savings in employee time with respect to repetitive tasks like expense reimbursements.

electronic-filing-system

3. Protects the Environment

The production of paper and related products leads to the emissions of greenhouse gases, causes deforestation and precipitates climate change. Paper recycling can reduce the environmental impact of paper in the workplace, but only upto to a certain extent. Employees may engage in group activities, like making paper bags from waste papers, to know the importance of waste reduction at work stations.

In the absence of source segregation, most of the paper ends up in landfills or waste-to-energy plant. In addition, toxic chemicals in inks and toners are detrimental to the health of the environment. The most sustainable solution to all these environmental problems is to transform your workplace into a paperless one.

4. Improves Security

A chronic problem in traditional offices is the hardship in tracking paper-based documents on account of misfiling, accidents etc. Moreover, it is difficult to monitor the access, printing and copying of sensitive business documents. A paperless office has a digital document management system with advanced security features to prevent such incidents by restricting access rights at different levels.

How to Tackle Stress in a Paperless Office?

A paperless office may create stress among employees due to increased exposure to technology. Static work postures may also lead to musco-skeletal health issues. An excellent solution to relieve stress is to use art therapy. But, what is art therapy?

Art therapy is a type of therapy that enriches the life of a person through art-making activities , such as drawing, painting, collage or sculpting. It helps in developing self-awareness, boosting self-esteem, trauma-coping and fostering social skills, under the guidance of a qualified therapist.

Conclusions

A paper-free office will not only save time, natural resources and money but also help in smoother and safer flow of information in an organization, thus helping in quick decision-making and responsible business growth.

Bajada New Energy: Powering Homes and Businesses in Malta

We all know the world is experiencing an environmental crisis. The ice caps have melted, natural disasters are rampant and the ozone layer is so damaged that temperatures are rising at unprecedented rates. Luckily, there’s still something each of us can do to reverse some of this damage and hopefully prevent some of the worst symptoms of human-caused climate change from occurring.

Powering your home or business with solar, wind and other alternative energy sources is by far one of the most powerful and impactful ways in which you can reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to the earth’s recovery.

Solar energy is no longer as expensive as it once was, thanks to a growing number of companies that are improving the technology while increasing supply. One such company is Bajada New Energy.

About Bajada New Energy

Bajada has been providing renewable energy resources in Malta for almost 30 years. This homegrown company has built a reputation as a reliable supplier of solar heaters, ET solar panels, photovoltaic panels, wind turbines and so much more. The company started out by importing Australian solar water heaters from the Edwards brand and has since grown into a full-scale alternative energy supplier.

What makes Bajada New Energy unique?

Bajada is made up of a network of mechanical and electric engineers, civil engineers, architects, qualified installers and licensed electricians. As such, the company offers a comprehensive service which includes providing the product as well as the installation.

Bajada also boasts an impeccable track record. To date, they’ve installed over 12, 000 solar water heaters (and counting!) and 4 megawatts worth of Photovoltaic Systems.

They have decades of experience in the industry which is why they’re considered a leading supplier of renewable energy products and services in all of Malta.

Products

Bajada New Energy specializes in a wide array of alternative energy solutions, including:

  • PV Panels from some of the world’s leading brands. The PV system offered by Bajada includes a meter, an inverter, wiring, a support structure, solar panels and everything in between. It’s a complete system that doesn’t require you to purchase any separate “extras”.
  • Solar water heaters proudly made in Malta and can generate heat using the sun’s energy. These heaters can reduce your water heating bill by up to 80%!
  • Air conditioners: Thanks to solar powered Bajada Air Conditioning, keeping your office or home cool doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. This air conditioning system not only cools down the temperature but can purify the air as well.
  • Heating products from Bajada include underfloor heating, infrared heating mirrors and heated carpets, all eco-friendly and backed by a generous warranty.
  • Water filtration systems: Bajada offers water softeners, filter cans, and even a Dropson escaper which can soften salt water. There’s also a 5 & 7 Stage Reverse Osmosis Systems that sterilizes water for cooking, drinking and watering your plants.
  • Voltage optimizer: This device is designed to ensure that your appliances operate efficiently while preventing them from overheating. This means the Voltage optimizer can prolong the lifespan of your electrical appliances while reducing your home’s overall energy consumption.

It’s worth noting that each of Bajada’s products are available in a wide array of packages to suit different needs and budgets. They’re also backed by generous warranties and guaranteed installation by experienced professionals.

Benefits of Bajada New Energy

Bajada offers tailored solutions through a simple, three-step process that begins with a quotation request. Here, you’ll provide them with your details, preferred package and product brand.

Next, you’ll place an order and make installation arrangements. Lastly, Bajada will deliver and install your renewable energy system. It’s as easy as that!

The Verdict

Switching to renewable energy can seem daunting and incredibly intimidating. But, Bajada New Energy is committed to simplifying this process by providing energy efficient and cost-effective power solutions that are kind to the environment and light on your pocket.

They offer a one-stop-shop for all things alternative energy, not to mention innovative product packages.

It’s really easy to work with them and theirs is a complete service offering.