Earth Day is April 22nd, but every day there are easy ways we can all help the planet. Below we outline the three simple things we’ve done at Furlani HQ that anyone can do.
More commonly known as “e-waste” – this refers to any and all electric or electronic items needing to be disposed of.
With the life cycles of our electronics getting shorter, the average cell phone’s lifespan is 18 months, the importance of recycling our e-waste can’t be ignored.
If not properly recycled, toxins from these devices can seep into the environment, where they can accumulate in the food chain and cause damage to plants, animals, and humans.
Recycling electronic devices also helps reclaim valuable metals and reduce other environmental impacts.
We’re proud to have an e-waste bin for computer parts and electronics on site, as well as our cell-phone recycling program.
If you want to find a place where you can recycle your personal e-waste, a quick Google search will list a selection of reputable programs in your area. Most of these programs, like the Free Geek or the Toronto Zoo’s benefit a noble cause, which is an added bonus.
25% of all energy generated on the planet goes into lighting our world. We can all do our part to reduce our consumption. The simplest way is to use energy efficient lighting and to turn off the lights when you leave a room.
We’ve done our part by converting all the lighting in our three buildings (Warehouse, Production Facility and Offices) to efficient T5 lighting and LED lighting. Traditional incandescent bulbs last 1,000 hours whereas LEDs last about 50,000 hours. That’s about 7.6 years if the lights are on 18 hours a day and 11.4 years if on 12 hours a day.
We’ve also installed on/off motion sensors, which turn off the lights in our offices automatically after 15 minutes.
Ditch the Disposable
1.6 billion disposable coffee cups, equivalent to more than half a million trees, are thrown out each year in Canada. Think about it, if you stop and buy a take-out coffee every morning, you throw away 365 cups a year. That’s a lot of cups!
Many people think that paper coffee cups get recycled, but that’s not the case. Because the cups are usually lined with a type of plastic called polyethylene (it’s what keeps them from getting mushy) they aren’t accepted in most recycling programs.
There’s also another dark side to using disposable coffee cups. Some claim that styrofoam cups and plastic lids leach the carcinogen styrene into your drink. Also, the glue that is used to hold paper cups together actually dissolves when coffee is poured into it, releasing trace amounts of toxins, such as melamine.
The best way to deal with this problem is to invest in a reusable cup. This will cut down on waste and keep your beverage hot longer than any disposable cup would. Many coffee shops will also happily fill your own cup and some even offer a discount in exchange.
In the workplace, cut down on disposable waste by using coffee mugs at meetings instead of disposable ones (we do here). We also stopped providing disposable plastic water bottles and instead installed a water filtration system ensuring clean water for our team.
In addition to the practices listed above, Furlani participates in various waste diversion programs. Last year we successfully diverted 88% of all waste from the landfill! Earth Day really is everyday around here.
By changing many little things we can all make a big impact. Please spread the word and share this info with your friends!