How Your Business Can Reduce Waste Volumes This Holiday Season

How Your Business Can Reduce Waste Volumes This Holiday Season

 

With the holidays fast approaching, it’s important to be mindful of the extra waste commercial businesses generate during this time of year and consider what actions your business can take to reduce it. With that in mind, this post covers the root causes of increased waste volumes during the holiday season, as well as some helpful tips for reducing waste volumes so you can make the holidays more environmentally friendly at your business. Keep reading to learn more!

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six Tips For Reducing Waste Throughout The Holidays

The holidays are indeed the most wonderful (and wasteful) time of the year! Businesses like retail stores, manufacturing facilities, and those in the restaurant and food service industry, see a significant uptick in the volume of waste they generate during the holiday season. According to the EPA, an additional one million tons of waste goes to landfills every week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Cardboard and plastic packaging materials and food waste are the main contributors to the increased volumes. However, there are many ways for businesses to minimize the volume of waste they are sending to landfills during the holidays. Below are the best tips for minimizing your business' waste generation this holiday season:

 

Eliminate Food Waste

The holiday season can bring major business for restaurants, bars, and food service businesses. Unfortunately, significant amounts of food goes uneaten and ends up being sent to landfill. The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association states that Americans waste three times as much food between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Fortunately, food service businesses can control and adjust many of their operational processes to support reducing food waste volumes. Try minimizing food waste by evaluating inventory, utilizing local ingredients, adjusting portion sizes, sending staff home with leftovers, or donating leftovers to local community organizations. For extra brownie points, compost the food scraps!

 

Reduce packaging

Did you know, Americans discard an estimated $11 billion worth of packaging material every year? Many manufacturers and retailers have started exploring ways to reduce packaging waste. For example, Amazon makes its “Frustration-Free Packaging” from 100% recyclable materials and reduces unnecessary waste by efficiently sizing the box to match the size of the product. If your business ship products, consider reducing the size of your packaging, using 100% recyclable packaging, and utilizing eco-friendly packaging alternatives to help cut back on waste this season.  

 

Make donations

‘Tis the season of giving! Your business can divert waste from landfills by making donations once the holiday season is over. Consider donating excess inventory and floor displays, leftover decorations, and cardboard boxes to schools, charities, or organizations in need. Sites like freecycle.org will connect your business with people in your area that are in need of the goods you want to donate.

 

Sponsor A Collection Drive

Sponsoring a way for your customers and/or employees to give back can cut back on waste while making people feel good about giving to those in need. Ask for donations of gently used items, or host a collection drive event in your store or office. Many people and nonprofits need items like coats, books, jeans, and blankets, especially during the holiday season.

 

Don't forget to recycle

Remind your customers and employees about the importance of recycling during the holidays. It never hurts to revisit the basics of your recycling program and the dos and don'ts of recycling. The holidays also present an excellent opportunity to educate your employees about sustainable purchasing and buying gifts with minimal-packaging. Don't forget to make recycling available and convenient for guests at parties or celebrations at your business!

 

Make Green Resolutions For The New Year

The end of the year is a great time to develop new waste reduction goals. To ring in the new year, encourage your employees to make "green" New Year's resolutions such as going paperless, composting, reusing, or recycling more. Check out our post - New Year, New Business Resolutions - for more ideas.

 

RoadRunner wishes you and yours a happy, safe, and sustainable holiday season! We would love to hear some of your business' tips for staying "green" throughout the holidays. Please let us know in the comment section below. If you have any questions, we're always here to help. Please feel free to get in touch with us.