Whilst on holiday in 2005 I read the book 'Let My People Go Surfing' by Yvon Chouinard, climbing pioneer and owner of Patagonia Inc. I was inspired to look carefully at the waste that my business was creating and on returning I discussed with my team my feelings about the impact the business was having on the environment.
I quickly instigated re-cycling programs for all our cardboard (even a small business like mine can receive upto half a dozen boxes per day!), plastic and paper.
All our stationary began to be printed on 75% recycled stock (paper needs some virgin fibre to hold it together - but this was from FSC sources), using Chlorine-free inks.
The referral packs I designed for other dentists to use to refer their patients were made from non-laminated, non-glued art board so these also could be recycled easily. Our branded carrier bags are now made from biodegradable plastic.
But there is still room to improve...
packaging of dental products
plastic bottles and yoghurt pots,
I have a vision of a local recycling scheme for Highgate (and further afield). Imagine all the businesses on Highgate pooling their resources to have regular kerbside collections for recycleable material...!
We're working on it!