America Recycles Day (ARD) was held this past weekend (Sunday, November 15). Put on by the National Recycling Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group focused on waste reduction, reuse and recycling, ARD is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and to buy recycled products.
These types of events are helpful reminders, but they come and go. What’s more important is that we demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the environment in our personal and professional lives.
Over the past several years, our firm has worked hard to do business in a responsible manner. I spoke with our Facilities Director, Barry Lyons, to get the latest update on what we do internally to leave less of a footprint. I’m proud to include a list of the following: what we recycle, what we allow and encourage our employees to bring in from home to be recycled, as well as products we use that are made from recycled or environmentally-friendly materials.
What we recycle
- Corrugated cartons
- Fluorescent tube bulbs
- Bottles & cans
- Wood pallets
- Metal (old shelving, files, cabinets)
- IT: Monitors, computers
- Printing materials: Plates, film, inks, fixer, developer
What employees can bring in
- Fluorescent tube bulbs
What we use made from recycled materials:
- Paper goods: Printing paper, copy paper, corrugated cartons, calculator and adding machine tape, our corporate stationery system, paper towels, toilet paper
- Other: Office supplies where we have an option (i.e. paper clips), soap for our pressman (made from recycled walnut shells)
Other products we use that are environmentally friendly
Soy inks, solvents for printing, facility and office cleaning products, lawn care products, snow and ice products for our parking lot, de-icer for our stairs and entrance, new computers, new monitors, wind power for our electrical needs, exterior lighting on timers, electrical audit of our facilities, etc.
By no means is our job complete. There are a number of other ways that organizations can operate in a more sustainable manner (water management, hybrid vehicle fleets, green building, etc), but this is a good place to start. If you are interested in learning the specifics of what we have done here at GMG, please let me know and Barry and I can help.
If you are in a position to influence your organization’s facilities and sustainability decisions, I encourage you to do so. Making green choices can have a tremendous impact on the environment, on your relationships with your colleagues, as well as on your corporate image.