This week marked the 50th anniversary of World Earth Day, a day that demonstrates the importance of environmental protection and climate action. It comes at a time when we are experiencing a global pandemic. When the coronavirus struck in early 2020, we heard how thick clouds of pollution cleared over China as industry shut down. As it spread across Europe, the canals of Venice turned crystal clear and wildlife started to return. The majority of commercial flights have been grounded and more people are working from home, leading to a dramatic reduction in air pollution. But even the most stringent of climate activists could not justify the devastating death toll and economic recession as necessary for battling climate change. The global recession will have deep repercussions on a scale far greater than those seen in 2008. We will emerge from this pandemic and businesses who can enter the green economy will be particularly important.
So how can businesses begin to shift to more eco-friendly alternatives in a post covid-19 world?
Encourage remote / flexible working
The government guidelines on social distancing have forced businesses to adapt and innovate in the way they interact and manage their staff. By asking staff to work from home, a lot of unnecessary paperwork can be cut out and offices themselves may be left redundant, leading to enormous energy savings. Air pollution will reduce as staff spend less time commuting. Many people have reported increased performance and well-being whilst working from home. Flexible working is surely something every businesses should be taking forward from the crisis.
Switch to greener waste recovery / management
Ensure any waste you produce as a business is disposed of correctly. Recyclable materials such as plastic, cardboard and paper should be separated and sent for recycling.
If you produce large quantities of used cardboard boxes, join the Reusebox Model at Reuseabox. Instead of baling your cardboard waste and having a waste company take it away, you can sell your used cardboard boxes to for reuse! We pay per box and collect the boxes for free! Upon collection the boxes get taken back to our distribution hub where they are sorted, graded and re-palletised ready to be sent out as eco-friendly outer packing boxes.
Benefits to selling your boxes for reuse include:
– Increased revenue from waste compared to the recycling rate.
– Increased environmental benefits, reuse is significantly better for the environment compared to recycling.
– Increased efficiencies in your waste management systems.
Choose greener packaging options
During the current situation, many coffee chains have stopped serving drinks in reusable cups following concerns over safety. Instead they are only offering the fibre based, single-use cups. At the same time, a ban on single use plastic straws which was due to be implemented this Spring has been delayed for at least 6 months to allow businesses to cope with potential supply chain issues. Whilst the current pandemic may result in environmental issues needing to take a back seat, it’s imperative that businesses continue to choose greener options wherever possible. Opt for reusable or refillable packaging wherever possible. If you must send out packaging choose a packaging made from recycled content that is likely to either be reused or recycled. Cardboard boxes currently have one of the highest rates of recycling at around 86%. If you purchase used cardboard boxes for your products, you are prolonging the life of these boxes even more, ultimately reducing your carbon footprint.
For more details on how you can join the Reuse Revolution and pack your products in truly sustainable packaging, click here.