By Eric Bourque
Just as residents should keep the environment in mind during the holiday season, Waste Check says businesses too should try to ensure they’re not neglecting proper waste separation and other environment-friendly practices at this time of year.
“Reducing waste during the holidays is as important in a business as it is for residents,” said Tracy Raymond, Waste Check’s business educator.
Sending holiday greetings electronically rather than giving cards is just an example of what businesses can do to reduce their use of paper, she says.
If employees are exchanging gifts, she says, using reusable gift bags is a good idea. Instead of purchasing new wrapping paper, she suggests other options – maybe, for instance, using pages from a newspaper to wrap presents.
As for what to give, she encourages people to consider things that aren’t over-packaged. She notes that gift cards or gift certificates are popular.
As for Christmas parties and the like, Raymond acknowledges that many businesses have these functions outside their workplace, but, for those that have such activities in the office, she says the rules and guidelines of proper waste separation apply.
“Have the same streams as you would at home,” she said.
As Waste Check’s business educator for almost three years, Raymond has worked with many businesses in the area of waste reduction and management.
“(With) any business – big or small – it can be done,” she said, referring to proper waste separation and other initiatives that are good for the environment. “It doesn’t have to be a nuisance or an inconvenience … It doesn’t have to be a chore.”
Indeed, she says, feedback from businesses that have taken steps to go green has been positive.
Meanwhile, Waste Check has its business-of-the-month program, an initiative designed to highlight those workplaces where waste reduction efforts are considered deserving of recognition.
“That program is running very well,” Raymond said.
Saying she has seen a good deal of improvement in the business sector where waste separation and the like is concerned, she notes that she is prepared to meet with any businesses interested in developing or improving their practices.
“I’m open to education visits, information sessions, at their convenience,” she said.
Education is a key word for Waste Check. Trying to ensure everyone – in all sectors, not just business – knows what they have to do and how to do it is important, Raymond says.
And while this applies all year long, she has a message about proper sorting and such that perhaps is especially fitting at this time of year: “Don’t take a holiday from recycling.”