In an effort to reduce our office’s carbon footprint and to reach our target of becoming a zero-waste office, we have been monitoring and improving what we do internally. We thought we’d share what we’ve learnt with you, but if you have any further ideas, please get in touch as we would love to do more.
- We use the waste company, Grist Environmental for our core recycling needs including normal plastic, cans, cardboard and paper.
- Our office is close to a train station and we encourage staff to use public transport; we have a shower in the office to enable cycling to work.
- We compost all our food waste.
- We never use single use items such as paper plates or cups in the office.
- We buy printer paper that supports the charity Cool Earth, endorsed by Sir David Attenborough, who are working to preserve endangered rainforest.
- We use Ecosia, a search engine that plants trees by donating 80% or more of its surplus income to non-profit organizations that focus on reforestation and conservationism (plug in for chrome available!)
- We use Who Gives a Crap loo roll, which is made from 100% forest friendly bamboo; and 50% of their profits are donated to help build toilets.
- We refill our cleaning supplies including washing up liquid, hand wash and loo cleaner at Bradford on Avon’s Christine’s Sustainable Supermarket using brands such as Ecover and Bio-D.
- We have recently become a Terracycle collection point so are collecting crisp packets, toothpaste, toothbrushes and confectionary wrappers (hopefully more to follow!). Terracycle collect hard-to-recycle plastics to make into new products. The points earnt will be redeemed as a financial donation to the The West of England MS Therapy Centre
- We collect plastics for recycling at larger supermarkets. This includes plastics such as bread bags, breakfast cereal liners, bubble warp, LPDE 4 and magazine/newspaper wrappers. Check out Recycle Now for more info.
What next? We are moving offices at the end of the month and here are some of the things we are doing:
- Installing a carpet made from 100% recycled materials
- Sourcing our furniture carefully. Buy second hand, made from recycled products or otherwise ensure that they are fully recyclable at the end of the life
- Switching all new lighting to LED
- Making sure there is a new core recycling system in place
- Creating an office Ecobrick (a building block made entirely from un-recyclable plastic. Created by filling a plastic bottle with clean, dry plastic until it’s packed tightly and can be used as a building block)
- Switching to refillable milk from our local sustainable supermarket, Christine’s
For more ideas of how to lower the impact of your office, check out:
Cradle to Cradle. Remaking the Way We Make Things (Patterns of Life), Michael Braungart and William McDonough