We are constantly looking for new ways to be "green" and improve our efficiencies in the office and warehouse. We are now exclusively using environmentally friendly cleaning products as well as buying recycled and environmentally friendly products such as packing peanuts, copy/printer paper, paper towels and assorted office & break room supplies. We recycle all of our FO drums and cans in addition to all paper generated in the office and boxes in the warehouse. Every can, drum, paper towel and piece of paper *does* make a difference! I have been shocked at how much actual trash we generate - it's very little because so much of it is now recycled instead of tossed. We have equipped the break room with recycle bins for plastic water bottles and soda cans as well as using biodegradable knives and forks.
Increased efficiency = savings for us that we pass on to our customers!
Don't let anyone ever tell you that recycling is a waste of time or that it takes just as much energy to recycle as it does to produce the raw materials. Even if recycling were just to reduce the amount of material in landfills and reduce the exploitation of natural resources recycling would be worth it, but the energy savings are also very real. Let's look at metals.
Look at the energy saved by recycling aluminum versus digging it out of the ground and refining it. It's no wonder recycled aluminum fetches such a high price per pound!
New metals made using recycled material / Energy Savings
Zinc --- 20% / 60%
Lead --- 74% / 60%
Steel --- 42% / 62%
Copper --- 32% / 85%
Aluminum --- 39% / 95%
There are also other environmental benefits. For example, using recycled steel to make new steel enables reductions such as:
86% in air pollution
40% in water use
76% in water pollution.