5 Steps to Starting an Office Recycling Program

According to a recent study, Canadians produce about 31 million tonnes of garbage a year, and only about 30 per cent of that material is recycled.

Thankfully, you can take five simple steps to help the environment by starting an effective recycling program at the office.

  1. Mobilize a team of coworkers for the program. You can’t do it alone. Put together a team of coworkers from various departments to help you come up with an office recycling program and successfully execute it. Include the janitorial staff and make sure they are also invested in making the project work.
  2. Determine the type and amount of waste the program will manage. Consult your waste hauler to find out how you’re required to handle your recyclable items as this varies with municipalities. Carry out a waste audit to determine what portion of your waste is recyclable. Determine the flow of waste traffic and place bins in strategic locations throughout the office.
  3. Consider implementing a centralized recycling program. Here, office workers take the waste in the mini bins by their desks to a central location and sort it. This system fosters accountability in workers for the waste they produce and boosts diversion rates by decreasing stream contamination.
  4. Choose the most suitable bins. Go for bins that collect all stream of waste in a single container. Having separate bins for recyclable and non-recyclable waste discourages people from using the right bin because they will use the nearest one instead. Use bins that can adapt to changes in the type and volume of waste managed by your program. Use easily recognizable images to label your bins.
  5. Finally, implement the program. Educate workers in the office to make sure everyone is on board with the program. Use signs and posters as reminders and schedule meetings to discuss the results of the program and steps to improve it. These regular audits help the program grow increasingly effective.

Once you have an established program that’s woven into your company culture, you’ll find it easy to maintain in the long term.

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Tips for Celebrating Earth Day

Earth Day is an annual event celebrated on April 22. All over the world, people gather at a variety of activities to learn, celebrate and demonstrate support for environmental protection. Earth Day includes events in more than 193 countries and is the largest secular observance in the world. It’s estimated that more than a billion people each year celebrate Earth Day.

Earth Day in Canada

Although Earth Day was first celebrated in 1970, the first Canadian Earth Day was held on Thursday, September 11, 1980. Earth Day Canada founded in 1990, helps people across the country celebrate this special holiday. Earth Day Canada has created an award-winning employee engagement program called EcoConnexions, which is designed to encourage environmental and sustainability values and initiatives in the workplace.

EcoConnexions emphasizes three pillars of environmental responsibility: conserving energy, reducing waste and improving housekeeping. If you’re looking for fun and interesting ways to celebrate Earth Day in your workplace, plan educational workplace events and celebrations around these three pillars.

Conserving Energy

Help employees understand how they can conserve energy in their homes and the workplace with tips from an organization such as Save on Energy. Hold a free lunch seminar to discuss these ideas and improve team spirit at the same time.

Reducing Waste

To celebrate Earth Day this year, consider providing each employee with a reusable water bottle branded with the company name. It’s a thoughtful gift that also prevents waste and saves money because they will use fewer cups, straws and other one-use items.

Employees are more likely to recycle bottle, cans and paper when it’s convenient. If you haven’t already provided recycling bins in employee break areas and around printing stations, consider adding them and asking employees to use them considerately as part of your Earth Day celebration.

Improving Housekeeping

When discussing housekeeping in an environmental sense, you’re not just talking about washing up. Housekeeping is a concept that involves improving work efficiency, utilizing assets and making advances in safety. Even small changes can have a big impact.

Consider replacing light bulbs with more energy-efficient ones, asking employees to shut down their computers at the end of the day and changing company-wide cleaning products to more eco-friendly options. You could even provide incentives for co-worker carpooling or organize a workplace volunteering event with a group like TreeCanada.

Sustainability In The Workplace

Happy Earth Week! As a company, this is a great opportunity to set some time aside to evaluate your current sustainability activities and practices and perhaps introduce some new policies.

In the 2016 Workplace Index Survey, 43% of people said that their company does not make an effort to be eco-friendly. That means almost half of those surveyed were working for companies that don’t have environmental policies in place, or perhaps, the employees just weren’t aware of the sustainability policies and efforts. As a company, it’s important to communicate your efforts to your employees so they too can participate and support the efforts. An annual update, such as a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Report, can help communicate with both your employees and stakeholders and help promote all the good you’re doing in your workplace.

So what can you do to encourage sustainable business practices? Check out some of the results on the importance of Sustainability in the Workplace from the 2016 Workplace Index Survey.

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Earth Hour: How Your Office Can Participate

Earth Hour is a global initiative that has seen as many as 172 countries come together to power down and bring awareness to climate change. This year Earth Hour will take place between 8:30pm and 9:30pm (local time) on Saturday March 25.

Since many of us leave the office on a Friday and don’t return until Monday morning, how can you ensure your business is doing what it can to participate? Here are a few ideas.

  1. Fully power down your laptop or computer
  2. Turn off your monitor
  3. Unplug any small appliances (kettle, toaster, microwave, etc).
  4. Power down printers and any other large office machines that won’t be in use
  5. Turn off any interior lights that are not required for safety or security
  6. Turn off or limit exterior lighting, again keeping in mind safety and security
  7. Spread the word! Communicate within your office so that everyone remembers to power down before they leave. It might be helpful to set a reminder in your email calendar or on your phone.

Is your office participating in Earth Hour? Tell us what you are doing around the office to promote energy efficiency.

To find out more about Earth Hour, visit: https://www.earthhour.org/ or get involved in the conversation on social media: #ChangeClimateChange

Reducing Our Environmental Impact

Through our partnership with Bullfrog Power, Bullfrog injects clean, renewable electricity onto the grid to match the amount of energy our facilities use on an annual basis.

Our partnership with Bullfrog demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and aligns with our ISO 14001 Corporate Registration.

Below is an infographic on our cumulative green energy purchase over the course of our partnership with Bullfrog to date, along with the emissions reductions associated with this and some equivalencies to help illustrate what they mean.

staples-advantage_emissions-data-graphic_january-2017-en

 

Proud to Be bullfrogpowered

Through our partnership with Bullfrog Power, Bullfrog injects clean, renewable electricity onto the grid to match the amount of energy our facilities use on an annual basis.

Our partnership with Bullfrog demonstrates our commitment to reducing our environmental impact and aligns with our ISO 14001 Corporate Registration.

Below is an infographic on our cumulative green energy purchase over the course of our partnership with Bullfrog to date along with the emissions reductions associated with this and some equivalencies to help illustrate what they mean.

staples-advantage_emissions-data-graphic_october-2016-en

 

Eway.ca is now bullfrogpowered with 100% green electricity!

The last time you placed an order on eway.ca, did you happen to notice the little green frog at the bottom of the page?

bullfrogpower_logo_jpegWe’re excited to announce the expansion of our partnership with Bullfrog Power—our e-commerce services are now bullfrog powered with 100% clean, green electricity! At Staples Business Advantage, we strive to minimize our environmental impact on the planet and the communities we serve. Expanding our partnership to green power our e-commerce site means that every order you place online through Staples Business Advantage just got a little bit greener!

Staples Business Advantage and Staples Canada have proudly partnered with Bullfrog Power to choose clean, renewable energy for our business since 2013. Through this partnership, we’ve been able to reduce the carbon emissions footprint of our organization and help support new, renewable energy projects across Canada.

To learn more about how Bullfrog Power is helping Canadian businesses like us reduce their environmental footprints, visit bullfrogpower.com.