Archive for November, 2010
The first thing that often comes to mind when thinking about green gifts is the waste generated from gift wrap and cards. This waste becomes particularly significant when realizing that much of the waste is not reused or recycled – if it is, indeed, recyclable. We’re often drawn to fancy, embellished cards and gift wraps. The problem with many of these items is that, although they are made from paper, they have foil and other decorations that prevent them from being recycled. How about reuse? This option is ideal but not the first thing that comes to mind when we’re excitedly ripping open gifts.
What about the gifts themselves? How many gifts do we give – and receive – that are never used? How often do we give gifts “for the sake of giving something?”
As you draw names for Secret Santa or shop for loved ones during this holiday season, consider the environmental impact of the gifts. Consider replacing your holiday work party and gift exchange with a company-wide service project that benefits the community. If your company receives cards from clients or customers, consider donating them to a local school or daycare to use for art projects. Or better yet, request that your clients opt to donate to a local charity rather than sending cards or gifts. Hold your work party at a local nursing home or soup kitchen. If you purchase gifts, buy useful items that are wrapped in reusable bags.
There are many ways we can green our environmental footprint during the holidays. Is the gift thoughtful? Was it made in an eco-friendly way, does it contain post-consumer recycled content or reused materials? Are there “greener” alternatives to this item? Is there something that could be repurposed or homemade instead of buying new? Can it be easily reused or recycled? And so on…
As I’m sure you’ve already heard – it’s Give to the Max Day in Minnesota. Generous folks across the country are donating to their favorite Minnesota non-profits through GiveMN.org (http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Minnesota-Waste-Wise-Foundation). GiveMN has been helping Minnesota non-profits raise money for several years. Last year, donations totaling over $14 million dollars poured into worthy causes across the state. Check out the Star Tribune article about Give to the Max Day: http://www.startribune.com/local/108044464.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUvckD8EQDUs.
Of course, we would love to have your financial support. Your donation would go directly into programs and resources to help businesses and organizations across Minnesota. And it’s tax deductible: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Minnesota-Waste-Wise-Foundation. But if not Minnesota Waste Wise, then please consider donating to another non-profit or charity – we could all use a little help these days if you’re able. Thanks.
More and more companies are performing waste sorts. Fun stuff, right? Just what we all want to do – dig through our trash. So why are more and more businesses and organizations doing it? Knowledge is king.
Waste sorts are a great way to find out what you’re filling that dumpster with, and paying money to empty. Without the baseline knowledge it’s impossible to measure improvement.
Think of it this way: if you don’t know and understand what’s going into the products you manufacture then how can you improve on that product? Same thing with trash. Once you know the waste you’re creating then you can create a strategy to reduce or eliminate it. And potentially save your company substantial dough.
Trash. It’s no longer out-of-sight out-of-mind for competitive businesses. Oh, and LEED Certification requires it.