Keeping hazardous batteries out of landfills

Softchoice has offered an office battery recycling service since 2009 at all of our offices and have had extreme success with our program! Employees areencouraged to bring in their used batteries from their home and Softchoice will dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way. This is  done through a E-waste recycling company that our landlord provides. In addition to alkaline and recharge-ables, Softchoice also recycles laptop batteries.

In 2010 Softchoice collected approximately 350 used batteries, in addition to our 700 collected in 2009. That brings our total to over 1000 recycled batteries!

Here are some tips on starting up your own battery collection program at your office: [Read more…]

Who knew recycling is magic!

I was reading my 2011 recycling calendar produced by my city and found a really interesting article about the mysterious ways of recycling. I didn’t realize how many amazing transformations are the result of my “trash”.

Re-pulped newspapers can become shingles, ceiling tiles and egg trays. Even better, one ton of old newspapers save 19 trees. Tin cans go on to bigger  things as concrete reinforcing bars, chains, pipes and car parts…Saving 1.36 tons of iron ore ! And what goes around comes around; next time you burn a copy of your favorite show onto a DVD, you could be using your the last can of Heineken you enjoyed with aluminum drink cans being used to make Cd’s and DVDs.

There are so many things that can be reclaimed – the list is endless. Next time you put something in your blue bin, you could be seeing it for the second time very soon.

Dallas does it right

Our Dallas office recycles everything from glass and paper to batteries and toner, all done through a local recycling company. This company also offers e-waste recycling to Softchoice employees. In this specific Softchoice location, the property management does not provide any recycling program – so we have gone out and sourced our own! Here is a snapshot of the positive impact this program has had on the environment… [Read more…]

The sordid story of electronics could have a happy ending

How many DVD players and mp3 players have you pitched when they have died suddenly or suddenly you were flush with extra cash and ready to treat yourself? I know that I have gone through a few $38.99  DVD players and have made some bad PC purchases which led me back to my local electronics shop for an upgrade.

I wonder where cast-away electronics end up. In my mind I picture them refurbished and enjoying a second life. But that’s not the case. One of my fellow marketers recently blogged about it. His post includes three shocking videos which shows where electronics really go to die. It ain’t pretty. Toxic chemicals from the West are polluting developing countries where the valuable parts are being harvested and the rest burned and dumped into water supplies. Not cool!

There are ways we can help and it’s easier than you think. Find out here.

We’ll be wrapping presents yo!

We were sitting around the table at our last Green Team meeting discussing ideas for projects we can take on. And idea popped in my head: Eco-wrapping. No, it’s not throwing down rhymes about the environment (though that would be pretty cool!) it’s about reusing materials for holiday wrapping to save a few trees.

I’ve done this a couple of years with a local charity – at malls and our local emporium where people buy their outdoor gear. I’ve wrapped snowshoes, canoe paddles, vases – all with kraft paper or recycled posters and paper rafia. And the best part is … no tape!

A lot of my Green Team cohorts were shocked when I told them this. Ya, it’s not pretty…but it makes for an interesting conversation piece under the tree or passed over glasses of rum and eggnog. How many of us wrap beautifully anyways? I know that even with the best paper money can buy and rolls of tape my gifts look like they have been wrapped by drunken elves with no thumbs.

Eco-wrapping is coming to a Softchoice branch near you! And if you want to bust a rhyme while we wrap the DVD box set of MASH you got your Uncle Herb, you might even get a discount off the fee (which will be a donation to Softchoice Cares.) Want to learn more? You can read “Eco-Chick’s” online post about Eco-wrapping.

5 Steps to Starting Your Own Office Composting Program

Starting a composting program at your office can be challenging, but if you follow these simple guidelines you can set yourself up for a successful program.

  1. Find a stainless steel bucket you can keep on your office’s kitchen countertop. Stainless steel is easy to clean and wont absorb color or odor from foods.
  2. Post signage up to let everyone know what can and can’t go inside the container.
  3. Arrange to have your container emptied on a daily basis into a large bintote and store it somewhere dark and dry. A Janitorial or storage closet works well as a storage space.
  4. Find out when your city recycling and composting pickups are scheduled – if you are in an office building check with your landlord as your garbage pickups could be from a private contractor. Find out the costs associated with arranging weekly pickups.
  5. Schedule your compost pickups at least once per week, keep your bins clean by using a biodegradable liner or requesting your bin gets exchanged for a clean one every week.

To maintain a successful composting program remind your fellow employees what a positive impact they are having on the environment and that by composting they are reducing their carbon footprint.

Have you tried composting in your office? How did it work?