Waste is a hot topic, and for good reason. Australians generate 52 tonnes of megawaste per year, and that fact is starting to get a bit of attention.
As a business owner, you’re always looking to reduce waste, whether you’re looking to save time, money, or make positive changes for the environment.
Here are some ways that you can reduce waste in your business:
When you’re looking at what you can reduce, first look at how the goods that you buy turn up.
Can you return containers with every new order? Can you supply reusable bags or resealable containers to your suppliers?
Start by having conversations about their waste-reducing practices, and if they’re not on board, it might be time to consider switching to suppliers who are taking this seriously.
The key to cutting down on waste is still to reduce, reuse and recycle.
And while it makes good business sense to be reusing as many things as you can and cutting down on the amount of waste you’re producing, there are also things that your customers can contribute to reuse.
At a minimum, start to question the amount of packaging your products need.
You might find that customers don’t want to use the plastic lid on their cup, or the extra bag you might put their purchases in. Reducing what you use in this way is good for the environment and good for your bottom line.
When your decisions around cutting down on waste have an impact on your prices, it’s a good idea to make this clear through posts on social media, your mailing list and signage inside your business.
If your customers know what’s motivating the changes, they’re much more likely to be on board.
If you’re having a hard time figuring out where your customers sit on the ‘waste-free’ spectrum, why not ask them?
Reach out on social media and create posts asking if they would use the waste-reducing initiatives you’re considering.
Not only is this a great way to get ideas and direct feedback but you’re also ensuring that they feel invested in whatever you decide on.
Coffee grounds are currently in hot demand both to be turned into beauty scrubs and by gardeners who add the grounds to soil or compost.
There’s even a business, Reground, which will deal with your grounds for you, preventing them from winding up in landfill.
While there are council-run recycling programmes for commonly recycled items, like plastic bottles, it can be hard to know what to do with your bigger, or more unusual recyclables.
TerraCycle specialises in dealing with hard-to-recycle items, so before you take that old printer to the kerb, consider signing up and saving your old goods from landfill.
When you’re serious about greening your business, you need to create the time to implement systems to reduce waste, and to educate your staff and customers about why you’re doing this.
One way to do this is to reduce the extra time you’re wasting on the administration of your business.
Changing your accounting software to user-friendly online system creates extra time for you to build a business that you can be proud of.