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Posts Tagged ‘waste reduction’

Reducing “Junk Mail”: Our Lessons Learned

June 22nd, 2015

About a year ago, in an effort to be more “environmental” at the office, I decided to take on a little pet project of my own – reducing JUNK MAIL. I know, I know, those two little words are cringe worthy, which means it’s worth tackling, right?

Whether at home or at the office, we are all inundated with unwanted mail. And although it’s hard to resist the temptation to simply throw it all junk mailin the recycling bin, it’s totally worth it once your mailbox is filled with mail you actually enjoy receiving (besides bills, of course).

Today, as I celebrate removing Environmental Initiative from 100 different direct mail lists, here are a few tips I learned along the way.

  • Keep a log of who sent the mail, who it’s addressed to, and the date you requested removal. It can take a few months to process so it’s good to keep track of your efforts.
  • Be persistent. Sometimes it takes multiple emails or phone calls but the satisfaction is worth it in the end, trust me.
  • Although it might not have been “junk” at one time, be sure to request removal of all former employees.
  • If you receive several copies of the same mailing, request to receive only one to circulate around the office.
  • Think about what your organization is sending. Are there ways to consolidate or eliminate the materials you mail?
  • And finally, celebrate your waste reduction successes with your colleagues!

Reducing unwanted mail is just one example of the things we’re doing at Environmental Initiative to keep our office green. To learn more about other ways businesses are reducing waste, check out information about our Waste Reduction Collaborative or contact me anytime.

 

Dani Schurter

POSTED BY:

Project Manager

Doing Better, Together: The Waste Reduction Collaborative

November 1st, 2013

“We all do better when we all do better.” That’s a quote we like around here at Environmental Initiative – it sums up our partnership-based mission pretty well, and it’s also one that’s been on my mind lately as I’ve been working on the Waste Reduction Collaborative, one of the newer projects that’s part of our work with the Twin Cities sustainable business community.

The idea for the project was born from discussions with a group of our business partners, who recognized that they’re all working on reducing what they’re sending to a landfill – whether through purchasing less, reusing, or recycling more – and that many of them face common barriers to minimizing waste the way they’d like to. Smaller companies, especially, may have trouble aggregating enough of a certain material to get much value from recycling it, or difficulties starting up a new contract with a waste hauler if they’re not located on an existing route, or just not have the resources or know-how to invest in innovative solutions to help throw out less.

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Georgia Rubenstein

POSTED BY:

Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

BPA and Receipts – A Call for Businesses to Go Paperless

February 20th, 2013

Receipts and BPA – if this doesn’t ring a bell on environmental issues, it will soon. You may be able to find one in your pocket – take a look – many printed receipt papers contain a chemical called Bisphenol A, (or BPA for short). BPA is often used as an ink developer in thermal receipt paper and is a chemical that can cause human and environmental health hazards. It is on the Minnesota Department of Health’s list of Priority Chemicals, is listed is a chemical of concern for the State, and has been banned in children’s toys. However, BPA can still be found in receipt paper.

Recent studies have found individual thermal receipts from retailers and restaurants can contain a mass of BPA that is 250 to 1,000 times greater than the amount in a can of food. Other studies have confirmed that BPA in thermal papers is easily transferred onto the hands of those who handle the receipt.  While the rate of absorption through the skin is not completely known, those who handle receipts as part of their employment have been found to have higher amounts of BPA in their bodies than other people. More information can be found here. (more…)

POSTED BY:

LEED AP, Director of Environmental Procurement, Stratford

Event Recap: Reducing Waste, From Cradle to Gate

August 22nd, 2012

In the sustainability world, waste management may not be quite as glamorous as some of its cousins – solar panels and raingardens are a little sexier than dumpsters! You never would have guessed it, though, at last Thursday’s Business & Environment Session, From Cradle to Gate: Managing Upstream Waste. The engaging speakers, reports on the effective waste reduction work of local Twin Cities businesses, and the buzz of small group discussions suggested that waste continues to be one of the biggest sustainability challenges – and areas of opportunity – for organizations today.

Many companies have specific waste reduction goals that are part of their sustainability initiatives, and often find that efforts to reduce waste can result in both environmental benefits and greater efficiency and cost savings. As they seek to maximize these benefits, organizations have recognized opportunities for waste reduction extending far beyond efforts taken within their four walls, and are focusing on minimizing waste throughout their supply chains.

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Georgia Rubenstein

POSTED BY:

Senior Manager, Sustainability Program

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