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Small But Substantial Ways Teams Can Commit To Zero Waste

As the saying goes: “reduce, reuse, recycle.” These three R’s form the foundation of the zero-waste movement which aims to minimize the amount of waste produced and sent to landfills. While recycling is an important part of this equation, it is only one piece of the puzzle. One of the best ways to reduce waste is to prevent it from being created in the first place. 

The Top Five, Zero-Waste Best Practices For Reducing Consumer Waste:

  1. Bring your own bag: Instead of using the store’s single-use plastic or paper bags, bring your own reusable bags. Not only will this reduce waste, but it will also save you money in the long run, as many stores now charge for bags. Single-use plastics make up about 40% of the plastic produced globally each year.
  2. Consider carrying a reusable water bottle, utensils, and to-go container with you to use instead of disposable options. According to the EPA, the average person in the United States generates 4.4 pounds of waste per day. This adds up to 1.6 tons of waste per person per year!
  3. Shop secondhand: Instead of buying new, consider shopping secondhand for clothing and household items. This not only reduces waste, but it also supports the circular economy by keeping products in use for longer. The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, second only to the oil industry. By shopping secondhand and supporting circular fashion, we can help reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry.
  4. Compost food scraps: Food waste is a significant contributor to landfills, but it can be easily prevented by composting. Composting food scraps diverts them from landfills and turns them into nutrient-rich soil for gardening. Many cities and towns offer composting programs, or you can set up a compost bin in your own backyard. Landfills are the third largest source of methane, which is released as organic waste decomposes in landfills and contributes to climate change.
  5. Repair and reuse: Instead of tossing broken items and replacing them with new ones, try to repair and reuse them. This not only reduces waste, but it also saves money and can be a fun and rewarding DIY project.

We’re Committed To Zero-Waste, Now What Can Our Team Do?

By implementing these zero-waste best practices, you can significantly reduce the amount of waste you produce and do your part to protect the environment. Every small action adds up, so don’t be afraid to start small and work your way up to more sustainable habits. Concurrent with reducing our waste, we can significantly reduce the environmental impact of our consumption and protect the planet for future generations.

Just as every small action adds up, so does the contribution of every team. Your team makes a difference each time you commit to reducing your individual waste, but what can you do with your company’s waste? These are often much larger actions that affect processes, vendors, EPA reporting, and people’s livelihoods. You may be feeling small right now, but that’s why you need a partner who knows how to measure the impact in tonnes and units of energy and then place a dollar sign beside it. Systemic changes are hard, and that is where a hands-on, sustainability consultant can help. Regardless of your size or progress toward zero-waste, Okapi Environmental Services can help. It begins with a conversation that we want to have.

You are the proof that your company exists to serve a triple bottom line: The People, the Profits, and the Planet   

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