greener-washroom-services

Greener washroom services that are a breath of fresh air!

Not many of us think about what’s required to keep a washroom functioning and ensure we don’t go running for the hills after entering. Truth be told, there are many items that need to be serviced to ensure these facilities run smoothly. When numerous people are using the facilities on a daily basis, it’s vital that key items are serviced regularly and ensure that the place smells great too!

If you believe the only green link with washrooms is the colour you go whenever you think about them, it’s time to think again!

One topic which is being talked about more openly is waste management, although probably not hygiene waste. Quills love finding sustainable solutions for our clients to help them with their environmental commitments so we can’t wait to tell you more. Take a look below.

Zero sanitary waste to landfill

We agree, this is an unpleasant topic but, this isn’t a time to be squeamish. Sadly, sanitary products cause more than 200,000 tonnes of waste a year. And when it comes to nappies, it’s estimated that in the UK, around three billion disposable nappies end up in landfill every year. Yuck! What’s worse is that sanitary products and disposable nappies will take more than 500 years to decompose. This means we could make a huge impact on the environment by choosing a provider who doesn’t send sanitary waste to landfill.

This is exactly what happens with Quills’ washroom services and sustainable solutions. Here’s how it works.

We’ll collect your sanitary waste on a regular basis and at a time that suits your business – if doing this outside of working hours is preferred this is not a problem. We’ll clean the sanitary bins and change the liners. We use antimicrobial liners in our feminine hygiene units which significantly reduce bacterial growth and combat odours. The waste is then taken away to plants specialising in Energy from Waste (EfW). The waste is then turned into renewable energy, and any residual waste from the EfW process is used as an aggregate in the construction industry. Absolutely nothing goes to landfill, which we love!

And as an additional green bonus, our feminine hygiene units are recyclable at the end of their working lives.

So, if you’re looking for ways to make your company more sustainable and you’d like to discuss greener solutions for workplace hygiene waste management and washroom services, send us an enquiry or give us a call on 0845 078 0324.

Zero Sanitary Waste

Energy efficient hand dryers

If you haven’t done so already, why not consider switching to energy-efficient hand dryers? This will help save your business money and reduce your energy usage too. Depending on the size of the unit and frequency of use, we have dryers that typically cost between £13 to £32 per year to run. We can install your chosen hand dryers and we can service them too.

Energy Efficient Hand Dryers

Reducing your water usage

We tend to think that because it rains so much in the UK, we don’t have to worry about saving water. But the sad fact is that climate change is having a massive impact on our water supply. Our summers are becoming hotter and drier, which will result in water shortages at certain times of the year, especially in the south which is more densely populated. By doing whatever you can to save water, you’ll not only reduce your water bills, you’ll also be helping to ensure every business and every person has access to enough clean water for their needs all year round.

In your company’s washrooms, you can install technology that will help your business save water without having to compromise on hygiene. Our Sensaflush and Autoflush units will help you reduce water consumption by up to 90%. And when your premises are vacant, such as at weekends, over the Christmas break or – and we really hope it won’t come to this – during another lockdown, the units will automatically flush every 12 hours, which will keep your water system flowing. This is important because stagnant water can become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria such as Legionella (which is the cause of the potentially fatal Legionnaires’ disease).

Air quality and ventilation

Without being too graphic, we all know the importance of having fresh air in the washroom! However, many washrooms have no access to an outside wall for ventilation and even if there is a window that can be opened, you probably won’t want them open in the winter. To help avoid wasting energy in the winter through heat loss, you can consider installing Air Cleaners. Covid-19 has shown us the importance of ventilation. By installing air purification systems in your washroom and in other parts of the building – you’ll control odours as well as destroying bacteria, viruses, mould and fungi. This is done through a process called ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). UVGI uses ultraviolet light to kill microorganisms, improving the air quality by ensuring it is clean and hygienic. What’s more, this process will be happening 24/7, not just when you remember to open a window.

Air quality and ventilation

Even our journeys are greener

Saving petrol plays a key part in making our services more sustainable. That’s why we use route-planning software to plot the most fuel-efficient routes. We also have fuel analytic technology fitted in our service fleet which helps us to optimise our fuel consumption even further.

If you’d like to find out more about making your company washrooms greener and cleaner, feel free to get in touch.

Eco Tips for Home Workers

Eco tips for home workers and business owners

As many people have spent 2020 and 2021 working from home and for those of you running a small business, monthly costs are going to be a big factor. If you’re working remotely, you’re probably spending less time in the car, which is great for the environment which means you’ll be saving time and money. But, the downside is that when you’re working at home, you’ll be using more heat and electricity due to using lights, your printer, monitor, computer and boiling the kettle – all of which will push your electricity and gas usage up.

If you’re eco-conscious, you’ll also be aware of the effect this may have on your carbon footprint. But there are ways remote workers and owners of small businesses can reduce their environmental impact, many of which have the added bonus of reducing costs. Here are our best eco-tips if you’re working from home or running a small business. For larger businesses check out this link.

Embrace the virtual

embrace the virtual

Virtual meetings quickly became the norm during lockdown, and while they’re not quite the same as meetings in person, they’re still a great way of doing business. We’re not saying never have face-to-face meetings, but if you cut back on the number of times you drive to the offices to see clients and suppliers, you’ll be helping to cut back substantially on your carbon footprint. And you’ll also be saving money by not using your car, which helps your business cut back on expenses and fuel consumption.

However, there’s a huge additional benefit to having virtual meetings which can really help your business become more profitable. They give you more time to spend on your work business, and time is a precious commodity that money simply can’t buy.

Get more sleep

Having your devices on all day will use a lot of electricity, but there are savings to be made if you change your settings to put them into sleep mode when you’re not using them. The average desktop uses between 60 and 300 watts, which drops to 5-10 watts when it’s in sleep mode. Laptops use less power – on average 30-70 watts, which powers down to just 2 watts in sleep mode. Look for your power options in your computer’s control panel when you stop for lunch, take a tea break and when you finish at the end of the day.

See the light

eco friendly furniture for a light house

Make maximum use of sunlight. Let in as much sunlight as possible by keeping your blinds and curtains open, which not only makes you feel better, it also makes it less likely that you’ll need to turn the lights on. The additional advantage is that letting sunlight stream through the window will help to heat the room. So, by just opening the curtains as much as possible, you’ll help reduce your need for heating and lighting, helping the environment and reduce your bills.

Use recycled and recyclable stationery

eco friendly office supplies

However paperless your office, you’re always going to need stationery. Choose eco-friendly product options for all types of stationery, from the notepad you use to scribble notes on to the pen you use to write them, to the envelopes you send your invoices in, the labels you print addresses on and the printer ink on those labels. By buying pens and pencils made from recycled plastics, and using recycled paper and even paper packing tape, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment. The more of us that take these small steps, the bigger the overall impact.

As an added incentive, we’ll give you points on all the eco-friendly products that you buy, and these points can be redeemed to plant trees via our new ‘plant a tree’ reward scheme. Click here for more information and to register as a user.

Search for eco-aware options

We’ve made it easier for you to search for eco-friendly products on the Quills website. Always check the Search & Filter options on the left-hand side of your screen and look for the Eco-Aware section. We’ll tell you how many eco-friendly products there are, then all you need to do is click on the word ‘Yes’ and you’ll find what you’re looking for or click here.

branded goods for outdoor enterntaining

Branded goods for outdoor entertaining

With lockdown restrictions easing and the warmer weather on its way, we’re all looking forward to the outdoor dining and socialising that’s scheduled to return on 12th April. Obviously social distancing rules need to be followed, but there’s no reason why you can’t combine keeping your diners and drinkers as safe as possible whilst still making sure your brand stands out.

Over the past year, the British public has become used to socialising outdoors. Most of us are quite happy to put on an extra jumper or fleece if it means we can spend more time with friends but we would like to be sheltered from unpredictable British weather! Now is the time to boost your brand and offer your customers warmth and protection to encourage them to book in advance and more importantly encourage them to stay for longer at your premises … plus showcasing your brand is always a good move!

Branded goods for outdoor entertaining white parasols

What’s more, the expectation that the excitement of being able to eat out with friends again will surely lead to an upsurge in selfies posted on social media channels. Imagine how great these images will look with your branding in the photos which in turn could increase your footfall once they have been viewed by hundreds of people who have liked and shared the post! It’s also a great photo opportunity for your website and social channels once your branded umbrellas, crowd divides and some nice outdoor heating is in situ.

Branded barriers / dividers

Barriers and dividers are a great way to direct traffic and keep customers distanced from each other. Our fabric barrier panels are mounted on steel frames, are discreet and stylish and give you the flexibility to easily move them to wherever you need them. So, as we leave lockdown and are allowed to socialise with more people, you can create designated areas according to your needs.

branded dividers for pubs and restaurants

Branded Gazebos

Whatever size of gazebo you need, we can brand them for you. Whether it’s a 3m x 3m version to provide a small table of diners with shelter from the wind and rain as they eat, or one that’s double the width for larger tables or to support an event with your company products on display , a gazebo will continue to be useful long after the pandemic is over. They are strong and sturdy, and are easy to put up, take down and store, so you’ll get great future value for money from them by putting them to use at festivals or parties, or just to shelter customers who enjoy being in the fresh air.

branded gazebos for open-air restaurants and pubs

Branded Parasols

Outdoor tables always benefit from parasols to shade your customers from the heat of the sun as well as giving them enough protection to stay where they are if there’s a mini shower! They offer the perfect opportunity for branding, whether you’re delivering a luxurious dining experience or a colourful and cheerful one. Having individual storm umbrellas available to lend to customers if it begins to rain and they’re not quite underneath the parasol is also a nice touch. This could make the difference between your diners going home early or staying on to order pudding and another drink.

branded parasol from Quills Group

Antimicrobial face masks

Create a good impression on your customers by providing employees with quality branded antimicrobial face masks. They are washable without losing their antimicrobial qualities and will help protect your staff from possible exposure to the viruses and bacteria. More attractive than disposable masks as well as being the more sustainable and responsible choice.

AeraMax Pro for Dental Surgeries

AeraMax® Pro 2 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 2 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

Air Quality

Air quality has always been a concern for dental surgeries, but during the pandemic it is a vital element in helping surgeries to open and operate safely. Ventilating treatment rooms through opening the windows can be effective, but in the winter months is not a practical or a pleasant option. Many surgeries get around this by installing air purifiers like the AeraMax Pro, which has the advantage of being fitted with High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filters as they are more commonly known. The air purifier can be seamlessly integrated into the workplace and is key for rooms with no windows where it is not recommended to carry out applications which require the use of aerosol equipment.

Government guidelines are clear that ventilation reduces the possibility of aerosol transmission: “increasing the occupancy of a space increases the probability of airborne transmission by four-fold. Exposure risk may be further increased if distances between people are reduced to <2m.” Unsurprisingly, the recommendation is: “Ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy for all multi-occupant public buildings and workplaces.”

Dental surgeries are particularly at risk because, in addition to proximity, out of necessity, the procedures use high velocity air and water streams that create aerosol droplets leading to an even higher risk of respiratory transmission.

Post procedures that generate aerosols, the government has recommended that dental surgeries have a downtime of between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the amount of ventilation there is which affects how many air changes there are per hour (ACH). This will clearly have an impact on the number of patients a dental practice is able to treat and can cause a frustrating backlog of patients needing an appointment.

Air purifiers

Government guidance into COVID-19 infection prevention and control suggests that: “Recirculating air cleaning devices with HEPA filter systems or UV-C are likely to be effective,” concluding that the: “addition of recirculating air cleaning devices could enhance the effective air change rate. Devices should be correctly sized and the impacts on the room air flows considered. The effectiveness of air cleaning devices will depend on the flow rate of the device, the efficiency of air cleaning and the size of the room.”

AeraMax® Pro 3 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 3 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

HEPA filters are recommended because they can remove 99.97% of air pollutants, which includes germs, bacteria, allergens, pollen and mould. The AeraMax Pro range uses extra thick filters in a four-stage filtration process that includes an antimicrobial layer to trap bacteria and take it out of circulation.

In addition, the AeraMax has laser sensors which monitor the air quality, as well as sensors that not only detect when people are in the room but also how many people there are, using this information to automatically adjust its efficiency and increase ACH. As soon as anyone is in the room, the device adjusts the speed of the fans to improve circulation, and when the room is empty, it will go into sleep mode to save energy.

AeraMax® Pro 4 Air Purifier - Wall Mount

AeraMax® Pro 4 Air Purifier – Wall Mount

In cleaning particles from the air, purifiers have the additional advantage of reducing colds and flu, as well as the symptoms of sick building syndrome, all of which can potentially result in reduced productivity and staff absenteeism.

If opening windows is an impractical way of ventilating your dental surgery, opticians or healthcare practice, either because of the cold or proximity to a busy road, create a cleaner, safer, less noisy working environment by installing air purifiers.

For more information, to shop the Aeramax Pro range or receive a free quote, please click here. You can also get in touch at hello@quillsuk.co.uk or via live chat.

aeramax air purifier for corporate industry

Air Purifier – AeraMax Pro

An AeraMax Pro with High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can remove 99.97% of air pollutants which includes germs, bacteria, viruses, allergens, pollen and mould.

On average, we spend 90% of our time indoors within shared spaces like the workplace, schools, healthcare environments and many other public places. Even before the outbreak of Coronavirus, the quality of the air indoors was a worry for many, and with good reason – indoor air is estimated to be around five times more polluted than outdoor air. This makes it imperative for companies to improve the air quality in order to protect the health of employees, teachers, students and visitors; especially in buildings with air conditioning and sealed windows.

Why AeraMax Pro Air Purifier?

We understand the need to use face masks during the pandemic to help block particles and quite frankly, the more layers the better! The AeraMax Pro has a four-stage filtration process which includes a carbon layer to capture and neutralise odours, and an antimicrobial layer that traps bacteria and fungi, therefore taking them out of circulation.

The Pro has extra thick filters, making it suitable for commercial environments. Intelligent sensors detect when and how many people are in the room and will adjust its efficiency accordingly. High grade laser sensors monitor the air quality as it enters and leaves the purifier.

When people are in the room, each unit will automatically adjust fan speeds to control the air quality. When the room is unoccupied, units will go into sleep mod

Air purifiers and COVID-19

The Coronavirus is an airborne virus transmitted on small particles which are inhaled, enabling it to spread. Researchers have discovered that it can linger in the atmosphere for up to three hours after emission. Government guidance focuses on the importance of ventilation in the fight against the coronavirus: “Ventilation should be integral to the COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy for all multi occupant public buildings and workplaces”. Recommending that companies: “take appropriate actions to improve ventilation and deal with health and comfort related consequences such as providing adequate heating.” In the winter months, it is clearly impractical to expect staff to work with the windows wide open which is why an air purifier like the AeraMax Pro is such a useful weapon in the fight against infection. However, it must be used alongside other hygiene measures such as social distancing, hand washing, antimicrobial surface coatings, protective sneeze screens etc.

Sick building syndrome

Inadequate ventilation may also lead to what is known as ‘sick building syndrome’ – a generic term which covers discomfort and the feeling of being unwell. People report symptoms such as throat irritation, nausea, headaches, mental fatigue, and dry skin. One of the possible causes, according to the HSE, is “air pollution including airborne organic matter”. An air purifier can help reduce the symptoms of sick building syndrome.

Aeramax pro air purifier in hospital

ROI

By improving the air quality of your business premises, you can improve productivity at the same time as reducing absenteeism. This has made the AeraMax Pro popular with organisations such as schools, healthcare facilities, dentists, vets, laboratories, as well as offices, shops, theme parks and gyms.

nano silicon eco mask black

Have you heard of Nano-silicon face masks?

One of our most popular face masks is the Nano-silicon Eco Mask which has three layers coated in nano-silicon antibacterial solution, the mask is biodegradable, reusable and self-cleans while you wear it due its protective coating. It retains its antibacterial properties even after 50 washes making it a cost effective premium face covering.

The roll out of the COVID-19 vaccine is amazing news, and whilst it means there’s light at the end of the tunnel, we’ve actually still got some way to go. Indeed, it could be months before we can finally hug our friends and social distancing is relegated to being just a bad memory, which means we are still going to have to wear face masks in 2021.

Ditch the disposables

Disposable face masks have become a blight on the environment. More than 100 million are thrown away every week in the UK alone, yet the majority of people who wear them are unaware that they’re made of single use plastic. They are not recyclable, and have become the new scourge of the countryside; old masks and PPE equipment are frequently found littering the country. Not only do single-use masks take thousands of years to break down, they also release harmful microplastics into our waterways.

It is therefore important that as many of us as possible opt for reusable face masks. Indeed, many people have been creative with leftover materials and homemade cotton masks are a common sight on our streets. However, if you would like greater protection, with three layers of nano-silicon antibacterial protection, we have a very effective and eco-friendly solution.

What is Nano-Silicon?

So here’s the science, nano-dispersion technology is used to dip onto all 3 layers in 25mm of nano-silicon solution. As a result, the mask surface is a photocatalytic antimicrobial, it absorbs light and reduced reactive oxygen species (ROS). These powerful microbicides can kill viruses and bacteria and other harmful pathogens by breaking down the bacteria cell wall and attacking its DNA ensuring that they die and cannot reproduce. Nano-silicon face masks are all made from 100% cotton, which means they’re biodegradable and recyclable. Each mask is made of three layers of densely woven cotton fabric, and each layer is sprayed with nano-silicon which sterilises the fabric, killing 99.9% of bacteria that land on the mask.

Quills Nano-Silicon Eco Antibacterial Face Mask

Given that a single layer mask can block 80-90% of bacteria alone, a triple layer mask one will be even more effective. Peace of mind and enhanced protection is also provided with the antibacterial coated fabric which also helps prevent cross contamination each time you put the mask on and task it off.

The antibacterial coating on the layers means that the mask doesn’t need to be washed after every use as it is actually ‘self-cleaning’ due to the antibacterial coating…genious! In fact, you can wear it for up to seven days (for short periods), or 24 hours continuously before needing to wash it. Laboratory tests have shown that the masks’ antibacterial properties are still 99% effective for up to 50 washes.

In addition, the masks do not contain bleach, fluorescent agents or chemical additives, making them safer for human use as well as safer for the environment.

Save money and the environment

Not only are reusable face masks better for the environment, they also work out a lot cheaper than disposables. If worn for a few hours a day, for a week and then washed, the mask will last for a minimum of 350 days and cost around 3 p per day, as opposed to approximately £1 per day for a disposable mask. And at the end of its life, a nano-silicon face mask can be recycled; a disposable mask can’t. Reusable face masks are by far the better option for the environment and our pockets!

Brand your own Nano Silicon Face Mask

If you work for a well-known retail brand or simply want to promote your business, you can have your brand embroidered on the nano mask (minimum order quantities apply). So whether you purchase them plain, or brand them with your own logo for use by your staff or gifts for your clients, our nano-silicon branded face masks are a great choice. Available in sky blue or black and as a rectangle or 3D shape.

They are an essential alternative to disposable face masks that will help protect you, your colleagues, family and friends, but also help protect the environment from PPE litter.

 

How to safely wear a face mask

Wearing a face mask or face covering is an essential step to help stop the spread of Covid-19. However, it’s important to use masks safely and hygienically to prevent cross-contamination and ensure that you’re wearing a face mask that offers ultimate protection. 

When wearing a medical or disposable face mask, there are some vital dos and don’ts to consider before choosing and wearing a face mask in public. We’ve put together this handy infographic to help summarise this advice: 

How to safely wear a mask infographic 1 How to safely wear a mask infographic 2

 

What face mask is right for me?

Now that wearing a face mask in shops and on public transport is compulsory, it’s important to choose a mask that is comfortable and offers complete protection. Our top picks for face masks is the Nano-Silicon Reusable and Eco-friendly face mask. Click here to find out more

Which face mask should I choose and why?

face masks blog

Now that it’s compulsory to wear a face mask in shops, galleries and on public transport, it’s vital to have a face mask as part of your daily essentials. However, it is equally important to choose a face mask that will offer you protection against bacteria and airborne pathogens and one that is comfortable enough to last a long time (after all, it’s been a long time since we’ve been allowed to go on a shopping spree right?)

Our top pick for face masks to help keep you protected and cool during this hot weather is the Nano-Silicon Reusable and Eco-friendly face mask and here’s why:

 

Firstly, what are Nano-Silicon Face Masks? 

Let’s get technical: the photocatalytic antimicrobial surface of the mask has 25 nanometers diameter of nano silicon on each of the three mask layers which absorb light and produce Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS). These powerful microbiocides can kill and bacteria and other harmful pathogens by breaking down the bacteria cell wall and attacking their DNA, ensuring they die and cannot reproduce.

Each mask has 3 layers of nano-silicon fabric with the antibacterial surface to prevent cross-contamination each time the mask is put on or removed.  They are made from 100% cotton which means it’s comfortable and breathable. The cotton is biodegradable and recyclable reducing the environmental impact that disposable masks can cause. The mask can kill 99% of bacteria on contact and the masks can be worn for up to 24 hours or for several hours per day over 3-8 days and there are no bad odours due to the bacterial coating. 

Nano-Silicon Face Masks

 

How long will a Nano-Silicon mask last?

One mask can last at least 6 months so they are a highly cost-effective solution. Tests have proved that the mask is still 99.9% bactericidal effective after 50 washes. Great value and great for the environment as less waste that you’d find with a surgical mask.

 

How do Nano-Silicon face masks offer more protection than other masks? 

Convenient & Reusable 

Whilst most other cotton and reusable face masks need to be washed after every use, the Nano-Silicon face mask can be worn for up to 24 hours or for several hours per day over 3-8 days and there are no bad odours due to its antibacterial self-cleaning properties. 

 

Safety & Cross-contamination

Throughout Covid-19, there’s been an ongoing worry that bacteria, viruses and other pathogens remain on face masks which we then touch and this causes the pathogens to quickly spread to your hands, face and key touchpoint areas. Unlike other masks, the Nano-Silicon face mask tackles this problem by providing a self-cleaning surface which instantly kills 99% of any bacteria that comes into contact with the mask. This then also helps to prevent the risk of cross-contamination when the mask is removed. 

 

Help protect our environment 

Most disposable face masks are made from polypropylene which is hard to recycle and takes decades to decay. The Nano-Silicon face mask is 100% cotton which means it is biodegradable, recyclable and reduces the environmental impact that single-use masks cause. Nano-Silicon masks have no added bleach, fluorescent agents or chemical additives and one mask can last for at least 6 months!

For more information on the Nano-Silicon face masks or to stay protected for you or your employees, head over to the Quills web store here: https://shop.quillsuk.co.uk/nano-silicon-face-masks. Colours available include: black, blue, pale green and branded options are available too.

Tips for reducing your plastic use

 

Plastic has insidiously crept into every corner of our lives and it’s predicted that a truckload of plastic waste is poured into our oceans every minute. However, thanks to the increased number of documentaries and resources available, such as the Blue Planet series by David Attenborough, plastic pollution has now become a global issue that we are all aware off and one that many of us are looking to change.

There are so many simple ways to use less plastic and all you really need to do is stop and question whether your plastic item is really needed – the answer is probably not! Here are some top tips for reducing the use of plastic in your everyday life:

 

Plastic straws are a definite no-no!

Let’s face it, plastic straws suck. Although plastic straws should technically be recyclable, they aren’t and they’re having detrimental effects on our oceans. Not only can they take up to 200 years to decompose, they pose a huge threat to ocean life and are also incredibly dangerous to birds who often mistake them for food.

So, next time you’re out and buy a drink, think to yourself – do I really need a straw? If the answer’s no, then don’t have one. If you do really need a straw, try out an eco-friendly alternative instead such as paper straws which many restaurants and pubs have already introduced.

Whilst many organisations such as Lonely Whale have already put the anti-plastic straw movement on the map, it’s important to still encourage your local restaurants, pubs and bars to stop adding straws to drinks by default and make customers ask for them instead.

 

Reusable bottles

Did you know that we use over 35 million plastic bottles in the UK every day? What’s even scarier is that only 1 out of 5 of these bottles are recycled correctly. It’s time for change! If you want to cut the amount of plastic you use AND save money, then it’s time to get yourself a reusable bottle instead. Not only are they super-convenient, but they are also incredibly durable so will last you a long time. To help encourage this movement, there are even apps that you can download that share locations near to you where you can refill your water bottles for free!

If you’re a business, why not invest in eco-friendly promotional water bottles and promote your brand? By giving these to employees and prospects, you’ll be discouraging the use of single-use plastic and also benefit from branding on the go!

 

Don’t forget your refillable coffee cup too!

If you rely on a coffee fix in the morning like many of us do, have you purchased a re-useable cup yet? In the UK we currently throw away around 2.5 billion coffee cups every year and only 1% of these cups can be recycled. Crazy right? Purchasing a refillable cup couldn’t be easier with many of the big coffee shops such as Costa and Starbucks selling them and offering a discount on your coffee each time you bring your own cup in – it’s a win-win!


Bring your own shopping bags

The majority of plastic bags take a huge amount of energy to manufacture, transport across the country and recycle. They don’t break down in landfill sites and overtime release dangerous energy chemicals but yet they are one of the most common types of litter on land. Although, since we introduced the charge for plastic bags in England, we’ve seen a whopping 85% drop in the use of plastics bags – yippee! To keep this number falling, invest in a foldaway bag that can be placed in your normal everyday handbag – convenient and eco-friendly!

There is an endless range of environmentally friendly shopping bag alternatives including bags made from natural jute with cotton webbing and rope handles; and many promotional items too for your business!


Bring your own cutlery

It’s happened to all of us when you’re out in public and you decide to grab a quick bite to eat but the only cutlery options available are plastic! Carry around your own cutlery, even if it’s just a fork so that you always have something in your bag to avoid giving in to the dreaded plastic cutlery. If you have to use plastic, don’t throw it away once you’re finished with it, give it a clean and re use it. If you’re feeling creative, why not try getting your own spork?!

 

Foil over clingfilm

In simple terms: foil can be recycled, cling film can’t. If you make regular lunches to take to work or even just need to wrap your food up to keep it fresh, always try to use foil instead as this is much nicer for the environment. When you’re finished with it, remember to stick it in the recycling bin! Alternatively, use a lunch box which can be used over and over again.

 

Glitter – sparkle and be guiltfree

Although there’s a huge sense of fun and joy about using glitter (and all things sparkly for that matter) there’s a sad reality that glitter is, well, awful for the environment. It’s made from such a small size of plastic which is part of the ever-growing ‘microplastic’ problem. In summary, when glitter is washed down the drain, it’s consumed by fish, plankton and birds and then it collects in their stomachs and causes the animals to die or instead, can make its way up the food chain and end up on our plates. Yuck!

But don’t worry, we can still rock up to festivals with glitter-covered bodies thanks to all the eco-friendly options available. Check out eco glitter fun for some inspiration.

 

If part of your 2020 goal is to become more environmentally friendly, take a look at our sustainable purchasing solutions to help you meet all your CSR targets. We also have a huge range of eco-friendly office supplies and promotional items too.

How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

How to make your business more sustainable in 2020

 

I’m sure we’d all agree that we could be greener and small changes can have a huge impact on our environment especially for a business or manufacturer. As more and more of us understand the importance of corporate social responsibility and the environmental impact that operational and purchasing processes can have on a business, it’s important to consider how you can become more eco-friendly for your company’s reputation from its customers, employees and stakeholders.

Here are some of the ways you can make your business greener:

Set up a ‘Green Team’

Creating a ‘Green Team’ in the office, or even just allocating a ‘Green Champion’, is a great way to brainstorm new ideas and keep your business becoming more eco-friendly. Empower staff to make important decisions and introduce new initiatives that will encourage all staff and customers to improve their recycling processes. You can even introduce new ‘green policies’ that staff have to abide by such as no plastic bottles in the office or no desk bins. If possible, ensure your Green Team are made up of members from different departments within the business so that you can include different business perspectives. For example, include someone from the operations team to ensure you’re getting the best products as well as a member of the marketing team to discuss how to communicate your green ideas effectively.

Use green products

What do you do once you’ve finished with your used ink pen – throw it in the bin? Probably, because that’s all we’ve ever done. Every year, we fill up landfills with perfectly reusable pens and it’s time to consider stocking up on recycled or reusable stationery instead. Using green stationery will not only help the environment and reduce the amount of waste going to landfills but will save you money and improve your eco-credentials. It may also be worth keeping your office supplies cupboard under management by the designated ‘Green Champion’ who can be sure to see if there’s an eco-alternative or refillable option out there. There are many recycling schemes around which are free of charge and are designed to help make recycling your used batteries, ink and toner cartridges and other items a much easier process.

Clean green

Going green with your cleaning products is also recommended to help improve the health of your cleaning staff and other employees as well as remove harmful toxins from the workplace environment and less harsh chemicals going into our water systems.

Review your waste

Whilst we appreciate that this isn’t particularly the most appealing job to be done, reviewing your waste is an effective way to understand exactly what your business is using and what is being thrown away. Your waste provider will probably have a portal that you can log in to and see the split of recycling and waste to landfill.  This should give you a good indication of any changes that need to be made or new policies that should be introduced. For example, if there are a lot of plastic cups in the bin from the water cooler, replace the cups with eco-friendly and biodegradable versions. We also suggest doing this regularly, such as once a month to measure the success and impact you’re making.   Alternatively, why not consider mains filtered water?

Challenge suppliers or use sustainable suppliers

Getting access to more eco-friendly products can be as simple as asking your existing suppliers to provide a more environmental service or product range or even ask to see their CSR Policy. Just like you, there will be many other businesses asking suppliers the same questions so don’t be afraid! If your current suppliers don’t offer any green products or if they’re not looking to be more environmentally friendly, start looking for other sustainable providers instead.

In the meantime, it’s also important to review what you’re currently purchasing and if there are any internal or external changes that can be made which will quickly improve your eco-credentials. For example:

  1. What type of packaging are you using to send out to customers? Is it recyclable?
  2. Do your delivery vans comply with ULEZ standards?
  3. Are you using single-use plastic void in boxes?
  4. Do you have centralised waste bins in the office or warehouse?
  5. Do you recycle your office equipment?
  6. Are you using recycled stationery and office supplies products?
  7. Do you recycle your paper?
  8. Do you re-use packaging?

Introduce #GreenChallenges

Green challenges can be a fun way of encouraging your employees to be more environmentally friendly. For example, you could challenge your staff to go for a month without using any plastic eating utensils, and then reward those who complete the challenge by offering small (and perhaps even eco-friendly) prizes! Our eco-friendly promotional gifts catalogue is a great place to start looking at prize ideas.

Make the office greener (literally!) 

Bringing shrubs and plants in your building can massively help improve the air quality around your organisation which is essential for your employees. In addition, this will also help your business look a lot more attractive visually and there is only little maintenance required for looking after them. Bringing more nature into the office means more oxygen is produced and creates a happier space for your employees to work in.

Take a look at how Quills can help with your Eco Purchasing and CSR targets by getting in touch with our friendly team who are more than happy to help.