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Published on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

8 Ways Your Business Can Go Green for the Holidays

As the holidays approach and excitement brews in your office, an issue at hand may nag at you - that of how much waste is produced to power the holiday season. Thinking of the energy required to power all of those holiday lights, the paper gone to waste as it's ripped off of gift packages, and all of that food that's thrown in the trash when there are others who don't have the money to even eat a holiday dinner, may weigh on you.

But understanding the environmental impact of the season doesn't mean you can't be jolly. It just means shifting some of the practices you've already been doing to something that is still joyful and not nearly as bad for the environment.

Here are the ways that your business can go green for the holidays:
  1. It's better to buy an actual, local Christmas tree than a reusable plastic one.
    This may come as a surprise. But cutting down Christmas trees really isn't that bad for the environment in comparison to toxic, plastic, shipped artificial trees. As long as you are acquiring your Christmas tree from a local farm, you're really not doing too much harm. This is because you are not stealing a tree away from its natural habitat, damaging that ecosystem in the process. Christmas trees grown on a local farm are raised specifically for use as holiday trees, and can be recycled and used for other purposes past the holiday.
  2. Make sure you actually recycle or compost your tree.
    One of the arguments made regarding the use of real Christmas trees is that they are wasteful due to their short lifespan whereas artificial trees last much longer. The primary problem with artificial trees is that while they are reusable, they contain non-recyclable plastics that harbor potential toxins such as lead that may never fully boidegrade. Whereas the use of a real tree doesn't need to be wasteful because when you're done with it you can recycle or compost it, simply using it for a new purpose.
  3. Recycle your wrapping paper (and see if you can find an already-recycled variety too).
    Now moving on the the gifts that will be found under the tree or handed out to your employees, using standard wrapping paper that ends up in the trash is counterintuitive to your efforts to being more sustainable. Instead, look for recycled paper varieties so that you are not starting with a newly manufactured item, and instead are reusing something that has already been created and used. And if that paper allows, recycle it too! You can recycle most varieties of wrapping paper as long as it doesn't contain foil of glitter.
  4. Switch your holiday lights to greener, more energy-efficient bulbs, such as CFL or LED.
    An aspect of the holidays almost everyone looks forward to is all of the cheery lights. Whether it's string lights wrapped around your Christmas tree, bulbs adorning all of your employees' desks, mini lanterns lighting up the exterior of your building, etc., lights bring joy to passerbys, your customers, your employees, and likely to you as well! Now, not to rain on your parade, but think about how much power it takes to keep those lights on. While we'll get into even better solutions than regular power sources, first you need to change out those bulbs. Incandescent light bulbs primarily just create a lot of heat, and very little light, with about 90 percent of the energy generated used simply for heat. CFL and LED lights are much more eco-friendly alternatives just because they use the power they receive much more efficiently!
  5. Look to alternative energy to power your holiday lights.
    Standard electricity negatively impacts the environment because of the greenhouse gases and emissions that are released into the air during the process of burning fossil fuels, and the radioactive waste produced by nuclear power plants. Emissions such as CO2, CO, SO2, NOx, and PM can be harmful to the environment, animals and humans themselves, impacting our respiratory systems and contributing to other diseases. Look into ways you can collect solar energy, so that you have an all-natural power source either reducing the amount of electricity you use of fully powering your holiday lights.
  6. Choose gifts for your employees wisely - get them something they'll actually use.
    A gift has no meaning or value if it doesn't resonate at all with the individual you're giving it to. This means if you're not giving your employees thoughtful gifts, it's very possible that present will just end up in the trash. Look at other gifts you can give your employees that they'll appreciate and won't toss - such as a holiday bonus or extra days of paid time off.
  7. Reduce your waste of items that can be donated (such as food).
    Take a look at your local nonprofit organizations and see what they are looking for and accepting at this time of year. For example, some organizations will accept food that is left once a restaurant closes for the day, such as spare donuts in a bakery. Consider what things your business frequently throws out, and if you can't recycle them, someone else may be able to use them.
  8. Source your linens, uniforms, towels and other business needs from a sustainable provider.
    Your company go green initiative doesn't need to end once the holidays are over. To attract customers, you know the importance of aesthetics and cleanliness. What if you could get a high-quality supply of linens, uniforms and towels, that are always laundered for you, and with sustainable practices in mind?

At Dempsey Uniform, we have received certifications, awards and other recognition for our go green laundry practices. With our Clean Green Certification, Green Powerhouse Award, U.S. EPS Sustainablity Partnership and more, you know you can get quality linens without compromising your environmental values.

To learn more about the linen services we offer and how we may help your business go green, contact us at 877-336-7743. Happy holidays!

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