The holiday season comes with more waste generation and energy consumption than other times. This has prompted businesses to strive to reduce their contribution to landfill during the holidays.
When you do not take active steps to adopt sustainability practices during the holidays, your energy costs and waste disposal costs will rise. You will also lose an opportunity to become more environmentally friendly and demonstrate to customers that they value the environment.
For instance, rather than using generic plastic packaging, you could employ sustainable packaging such as custom made mailer boxes by Arka to deliver gifts to loyal customers. Doing this can help you to build goodwill with your clients while showing that you care about reducing your business waste contribution to the landfill.
In this article, we will discuss a few sustainability practices to reduce holiday waste for your business and set you up for eco-success.
Use Eco-Friendly and Reusable Packaging
The Environmental Protection Agency reports that product packaging and containers contribute to 23 percent of the waste in landfills. This number increases by 25 percent during the holiday. That implies a further one million pounds of waste goes to landfills during the holiday season. You can reduce your business contribution to the landfill during the holiday season by embracing eco-friendly and reusable packaging.
Eco-friendly packaging is designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible to have minimal environmental impacts. Examples are paper, aluminum, glass, cornstarch, and mycelium. By adopting them, you can reduce the impacts of your business on the environment.
Adopting reusable packaging can also significantly reduce your business waste. Customers will be more likely to keep your packaging than dispose of it if they find out they can use it for other purposes.
Reduce Unnecessary Printed Materials
Billions of holiday cards are sold in the United States every year. These cards usually become waste after the holiday due to poor waste disposal habits. Businesses often send holiday cards or party invitations to their employees, customers, and prospects during the holiday.
Instead of contributing to this holiday waste, you could embrace a more eco-friendly effort by using holiday cards and party invitations made from recycled paper or using your official company email to send out electronic invitations and automated holiday greetings.
Encourage Customers to Recycle
You can considerably reduce holiday waste by encouraging your customers to join your sustainability efforts. Educate them about the importance of environmental consciousness and your business’s efforts to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills.
A great way to achieve this is to offer incentives or rewards to customers that agree to recycle their product waste. You could include information about recycling on your product packaging and recycling materials. It will help if you provide recycle bins at your physical store so your customers can easily drop off their packaging waste for recycling.
Be Mindful of Energy Consumption
Energy consumption goes through the roof during the holidays. According to the Department of Energy, American households use more energy during the holidays than some developing countries use in a year. Businesses also tend to use more energy than usual during the holidays due to increased lighting and heating.
You can reduce energy consumption by implementing energy-efficient practices and technologies such as using energy-efficient lighting, keeping the lights off or unplugging equipment when not in use, or adopting renewable energy sources.
Partner With Sustainable Vendors
Partnering with sustainable vendors can help reduce holiday waste in your business by ensuring the products and packaging materials are environmentally friendly. You can identify sustainable vendors by researching their certifications and awards, asking for references, and looking at their track records.
As a second option, you can contact associations and certification bodies that promote sustainable business practices, such as Rainforest Alliance, Fairtrade, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Make a Reuse and Recycle Decision for the New Year
Finally, you should perform a waste audit as the holiday season wraps up in preparation for the new year. Analyze your waste streams and consider getting advice on the most efficient ways to reduce and recycle waste and subsequently reduce your business contribution to the landfill. It would be best if you also created a waste management plan that covers how waste will be handled, including what to dispose of and what to recycle.