Six Ways We Can All Protect the Environment

Here at Shred Station, we pride ourselves on being an eco-friendly and environmentally responsible company. Amongst our numerous environmental commitments, we have zero tolerance for landfill, a carbon-offsetting scheme, a solar-powered head office, and we recycle 100% of the paper we shred.

It is our belief that businesses of all sizes should do everything they can to reduce their impacts on the environment. With global temperatures rising and ocean pollution at an all-time high, we could all be doing a bit more.

We’ve outlined six quick tips on how everyone can work together towards a greener future.

1 – Recycle

The current recycling rate in the UK is just 43.7%. While our recycling rates certainly aren’t the worst, our German neighbours have managed to recycle 62% of their waste, Austria 63%, and Belgium 58%.

If more people across the UK recycled, we’d be able to:

  • Save energy
  • Lessen the volume of waste being dumped in landfill and oceans
  • Decrease greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduce processing raw materials
  • Save trees and their animal inhabitants.
Image containing statistics on Shred Station's paper recycling. Image states that in one month, Shred Station's paper recycling saves 12,698,000 gallons of water, 689,320 gallons of oil, 7,256,000 kilowatts of energy and 5,442 cubic yards of landfill space

2 – Reduce Plastic Usage

Scientists very recently discovered microplastics 11,000 metres below sea level in the Mariana Trench, the deepest known point in our oceans. To put that into perspective, Mount Everest’s summit is 8,850 metres above sea level, so these plastics are being found two kilometres deeper in the ocean than Everest is high. Microplastics have also been found in our tap water, inside the stomachs of a third of all fish caught in UK waters, in 90% of table salt, and for the first time in 2018, in human stools.

We as a society have taken some very positive steps into reducing plastic usage, with plastic microbeads now banned in the UK, the carrier bag charge now in full force, and a ban on single-use plastics coming into effect by 2021.

However, there is still more we can all do:

  • Use reusable water bottles or coffee flasks
  • Stop using straws, or invest in a reusable straw if you really need one
  • Reuse plastic bags or use paper bags, canvas bags, tote bags, or bags for life
  • Buy loose fruit and veg instead of pre-packaged alternatives
  • Try to use bars of soap instead of bottles – this can also be done with shampoo and conditioner bars from certain retailers, although these may be more expensive
  • Refill printer ink instead of buying new cartridges each time
  • Say no to disposable cutlery

3 – Use Eco-Friendly Products or Services

Where possible, try to use environmentally conscious services.

Many companies are now going green, and that doesn’t just apply to retailers. Many services are going green too.  As mentioned, here at Shred Station we offer environmentally friendly shredding services. Numerous cleaning companies are also going eco-friendly, and many offices are switching to solar power.

There is also the option of opting for environmentally responsible brands. This goes for everything from cars, to clothes, to cosmetics, to paper!

 

4 – Reduce Energy Consumption

This is an obvious one that you will probably have heard many times. It is nonetheless still very important.

You can reduce energy consumption by:

  • Putting on a warm jumper and thick socks instead of turning up the thermostat
  • Turn TVs off instead of leaving them on standby
  • Shut off running water when brushing your teeth
  • Turn off lights when leaving the room
  • Use energy-efficient light bulbs
  • Turn off lights when leaving the workplace at night – this is something that many high-street stores have started doing after facing criticism when leaving store lights on at night

Conserving electrical energy helps to lessen pollution, reduce greenhouse gases, and can even save you some money too.

 

5 – Challenge Your Local MP or Council

If you feel like not enough is being done in your local area to promote going green, challenge your local MP. Our politicians are best positioned to make meaningful changes in our local area, so do not hesitate to contact them to express any changes you think could be made.

To find out who your MP is and how you can contact them, click here and enter your postcode. Alternatively, you can contact your local council by following this link, entering your postcode, and clicking on the link to their website.

6 – Spread the Word

Encouraging others to protect the environment is imperative, as we must get everyone on board to make significant positive change. Talk to friends, family, and your employer to see what you can all do together to help the environment. If everyone does a little, it can go a long way.

 

Image of saplings planted by Shred Station

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