What are the real benefits of recycling

What are the real benefits of recycling?

You may have heard the phrase ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’ and this is a key term associated with recycling that is used all over the globe. It refers to how we should be living more sustainably and how we can be more environmentally friendly in our everyday lives.

But that still leaves us with the question: Why should we recycle? There are so many benefits of recycling and in this blog, we are going to explore some of the most important benefits that recycling has on our environment.

 

Reduce the amount of waste going to landfill

Every day our population continues to grow and more and more waste is being produced and going to landfill which is causing a huge strain on our environment. This leads to an increased risk of pollution, poisoning and potential health problems. By continuing to recycle, little by little we can reduce the amount of waste going to landfill, as well as reduce the amount of space required for landfill sites.

 

Recycling creates more jobs

The recycling industry is huge and is much more labour intensive than solid waste management. In fact, Friends of the Earth said that if 70% of collected waste was recycled, it could create over 51,000 recycling jobs in the UK. Recycling is an integrated process that requires thousands of workers to sort and ship it to the right places.

 

Protecting wildlife

Sadly, it’s predicted that a truckload of plastic waste is poured into our oceans every minute which has detrimental effects. Not only can it take up to 200 years to decompose, it poses a huge threat to marine life and is also dangerous to birds who often mistake them as food.

Recycling reduces the need to extract new raw materials from the Earth which helps to reduce and prevent further damage being done to natural wildlife. For example, fewer forests being cut down which can harm wildlife in the process, fewer rivers being diverted and less air and water pollution.

 

Cheaper than waste collection

To put it simply, the more we recycle, the more money we save. In 2017, Lambeth council said that “it is six times cheaper to dispose of recycled waste than general refuse”. By recycling, we can put all the money that we save towards other vital elements within our economy such as households, business and public services. Recycling your food waste is also very beneficial as often it can be reused to generate compost for growing more food or crops.

 

Bring the community together

Whilst each and every one of us has a part to play in recycling, ultimately it should be a community effort. Whether you’re collecting materials for schools or picking up trash on the road, there are many ways that we, as a community, can work together to make recycling a much more enjoyable and easier process.

Most councils have now set up ‘recycling centres’ which make it easy as ever for the local community to recycle and most council websites also have free downloads to show you exactly what we can and can’t recycle and where it should go.

As we want recycling to become a part of our everyday life, this is also a great way to teach children about responsibility and taking a stance to help protect their environment.

 

As we’ve seen above, recycling is very important as waste has a huge negative impact on our natural environment. Not only does recycling help to reduce the pollution caused by waste, it reduces the need for raw materials so that our wildlife can be protected. As important as it is to recycle, we also need to focus on reducing the amount of plastic that we are using the first place.

At Quills, we are working hard to continue on our environmental journey and love to help our customers purchase more sustainably and reach their CSR targets. Why not be part of our journey and make a bigger impact? Get in touch today to see how we can help you become a greener business.

Find Quills in the Evening Standard & win a £50 Love2Shop voucher

Are you going to be in London on Tuesday 24th September? Pick up your copy of the Evening Standard and look out for Quills feature in the ‘Be Your Own Boss’ article (psst…it’s just past the middle pages!).

We’ve snuck a hashtag in the article and your job is to tag us in a post on Twitter or Facebook and comment what the hashtag was we used for your chance to win a £50 Love2Shop voucher!

You must also be following the account you used to submit your entry.

Entries are open until Sunday 29th September 2019 and the winner will be announced on Monday 30th September.

Good luck!

 

Terms and conditions:

  1. Entries should be based in the UK&I and must not be a Quills employee
  2. Closing date for entries is 11.59 pm on the 29/09/19
  3. Only one entry per person can be submitted on Twitter and Facebook
  4. A winner will be selected at random on the 30/09/2019 and the winner will be notified via the relevant social media channel that their entry was submitted on
  5. Entries must be submitted via Quills UK Facebook or Quills UK Twitter and the participant must be following the social media account used to qualify
  6. A £50 Love2Shop voucher will be sent to the winner by post and no cash alternative or prize will be provided
  7. Quills Group is a trading name for Quills Office Supplies Ltd and our registered address is Unit 2 Spitfire Business Park, 1 Hawker Road, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 4WD

Global Recycling Day: Key Facts and Top Tips

#GlobalRecyclingDay is held annually on the 18th March and it supports the promotion of recycling across the world. To encourage the theme for 2019 which is ‘Recycling Into The Future’, we’ve put together a list of all our recycling and energy saving top tips and some ‘Did you know’ facts on recycling…take a look below.

Did you know…

Recycling combats climate change:
• The recycling industry reduces CO2 emissions by 700 million tons per year
• This is the equivalent of offsetting the total CO2 emissions of the aviation industry each year
• By collecting just 1kg of used clothing, we can reduce 3.6kg of CO2 emissions; 6000l of water consumption; 0.3k of the use of fertilizers and 0.2kg of the use of pesticides

Recycling boosts local employment:
• 1.6 million people worldwide are active in the recycling industry
• Each year $20 million is invested by the industry into job creation
• The recycling industry has an annual turnover of $200 billion; 10% of this figure is reinvested in new technologies, R&D and in creating new skilled jobs to improve the efficiency and environmental impact of recycling

Recycling conserves primary resources:
• Recycling materials provide at least 40% of the global raw material needs
• Over 63% of aluminium cans are recycled worldwide
• A typical electrical appliance is usually made of 75% recycled steel
• Steel cans consist of at least 25% recycled steel
• An average stainless-steel object is composed of about 60% of recycled materials

 

Recycling Top Tips

Recycling Paper
• Paper is usually the greatest waste in the office, try and use digital formats for writing notes and sending communications
• Think before you print. Add this to your email signatures to remind everyone!
• Request online invoices and order products online
• Re-use envelopes for international communications
• Send out an email campaign to all staff boasting the benefits of recycling and word it in such a way that your employees will respect the businesses behavioural changes and support it

Saving Energy
• Turn off heating in empty rooms, making sure they are well ventilated
• Manage heating and cooling with timers and sensor controls
• Investigate taking all, or a percentage of your energy from renewable resources or ‘green tariffs’

Recycling
• Recycle your office furniture by using local council schemes or call Quills on 0845 078 0324 and we will investigate the costs to recycle your furniture and help you reach your environmental targets
• Install different bins so that waste can be separated into plastics, paper and card, food waste and general waste
Recycle your toner cartridges via Quills
• Recycle your batteries via Quills
• Get rid of personal bins at desks and encourage staff to use bins which allow for separated waste
• Purchase refillable pens via Quills to reduce plastic waste through stationery usage

Reduce your carbon footprint
• Home-working
• Car sharing
• Encourage the use of public transport and provide incentives to do so such as interest-free loans for public transport season tickets

It’s clear that there are a number of quick and easy ways to improve our recycling habits both at home and at work. Quills can offer you a Total Waste Management Program which incorporates all or some of the waste streams within your business. Get in touch today to see how we can help you.

A Day In The Life Of Quills Customer Service

It’s now been three months since we welcomed the William West additions into our office! Today we’re interviewing our latest customer service addition, André, to see what a typical day in the life of our customer service department is like.

Typical day

This ranges from starting the day going through customer’s back-orders, queries, shortages and orders moving onto sourcing any ‘special’ items that someone has requested or dealing with returns. All of this but I still find some time at lunch to squeeze in a few games of pool with my colleagues in our rest room!

Best part of the role

The best part has to be the fact that no days are the same so you are not working through a routine every day, although every day provides it’s own challenge, it is refreshing that those challenges are never repetitive ones.

Worst part of the role

I don’t really think there is a worst part but if I had to choose one it would probably be having to let the customer down when we cannot obtain stock on particular items from our wholesalers, that’s a disappointment.

Funniest request

I was asked to ring Coca Cola as the customer said it was taking her longer to unpack her cans of coke as the pack size had changed.

Hardest request

Producing rubber stamps in Chinese

Nicest feedback received

You are a legend!! Thank you so much!!! This girl at work has been stressing me out all morning! I really appreciate this!

Wow! What a good price & excellent service from you as always.

Thanks André for everything

Where you see yourself in 5 years

Lisbon, if not then I will still be beating everyone at pool downstairs!

Football team the you support

Greatest club in the world, FC Porto J

Hobbies

Being a passionate supporter, travelling around Europe with friends following my football team is my favourite, not only for the football but you have the opportunity to meet and see different people/cultures some of which I still keep in contact today.

Trips to the cinema are always good, having studied film studies at A Level grade films is another passion of mine.

Add to that the normal things people enjoy, time with family, friends, holidays, late nights here and there!

Countdown To Oz . . .

The time has nearly come for us to say goodbye to Mia who is our Digital Marketing Assistant.  Sadly for Quills she will be heading off to explore Australia for a trip of a lifetime from the beginning of September.

Mia joined us at the beginning of the year and has been working on web design, social media, blogs and much more!

As part of the countdown to Mia leaving we felt it would be fun to bring in an Australian item each day! Colin the crocodile, Kevin the Koala, an Aussie cork hat (a must have for any Brit travelling to Oz!) an Australian flag, Ozzie phrase book and some factor 50 sun screen!

Mia departs at the end of August and will be sadly missed but we wish her a safe and fun experience during her travels to Australia and beyond!

Mia was asked the following…

Favourite memory of Quills:

I don’t know, there have been a lot of them! We’ve worked on loads of challenging but rewarding projects, like the new website development and designing new brochures. And everyone in the office has a great sense of humour, so there have been a lot of laughs 🙂

What she’s looking forward to most when she goes to Oz:

Ziplining through the rainforest! And kangaroos. Oh – and parties on the beach.

Can’t travel without item/s:

Earphones, my phone and comfy clothes. Skinny jeans on flights are sacrilegious.

Funniest phrase in the Oz phrase book:

 

What she’ll miss about the UK:

The people in it. And knowing where everything is.

What will you do for 24 hours on the plane!!:

Pray that all the parents dosed their kids up on Calpol before the flight, listen to music and read some last-minute-airport-buy books.

List of Must See places in Oz:

There’s too many, we’d be here all day! The top places I absolutely have to go are Melbourne, Byron’s Bay and Fraser Island.

Do your employees hot desk or perhaps are field based? If so, its time to consider a Hot Box!

How To Manage A Multi-Generational Workforce – Understanding Generations In The Workforce

With Generation Z just starting to breach the workforce, our offices are now hosting four generations. The baby boomers (1946 – 1964), Generation X (1961 – 1981), the millennials (1981-1996) and Gen Z (late 90’s to early 2000’s). Each generation has different values, different interests and different strengths – especially in the workplace. However, this can present a unique challenge:

How do you manage multiple generations in one office?

Generational Stereotypes.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines stereotype as “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.” When talking about different generations in this post, we have used a lot of stereotypes. Use them as inspiration, but don’t take them as law.

The Issue: Generational Tension

One of the largest problems your office is going to face when hosting four or five generations under the same roof is generational tension. Generational tension is loosely defined as a lack of respect for someone who’s of a different generation from you. Typical examples of this may be:

“These millennials have no work ethic!”

“Baby boomers are stubborn and outdated!”

Tension can come from conflicting values and experience. Each generation will have different perspectives and so can interpret each other negatively. If you’re from a generation that highly values a strong work ethic, the generation that refuses to work any longer than their contracted hours and wants loads of vacation time seem lazy. However, if you’re from a generation that cares about having a healthy work/life balance, the generation that thinks you should stay late and be willing to work weekends seems stodgy and demanding.

Needless to say, this friction is not something you want appearing in your office.

The Difference Between Age Gap and Generation Gap and Why It’s Important

It’s important to distinguish between age differences and generation differences.

Generations, as they are commonly understood nowadays, are social generations. Social generations are defined as cohorts of people born in the same date range and who share similar cultural experiences.

The importance in this definition is the shared cultural experiences. Each generation lives through different periods of history and develops their values from said events.

For example:

“Generation X” were born in a time where they were seeing their parents being laid off and jobs being cut, as well as being the first generation to be told they wouldn’t do as financially well as their parents. These experiences are said to have made them self-reliant and disloyal to organisations.

Each generations’ experiences are different to those that came before and after them. This results in different values and outlooks on life, which is where the different generations can then clash.

How to manage multiple generations in the office

Disregard Stereotypes

There is a wealth of information available online about different generations and their various traits. The first thing you should do when managing multiple generations in the workplace is disregard those stereotypes. Half of them are likely wrong anyway.

Don’t assume all your older workers are technologically illiterate. Don’t assume all your younger ones are lazy.

Treat all of your employees like individuals

Painting your employees with the same brush is a quick way to make that age gap more pronounced – and to upset your employees.

There may be some truth in certain generational traits. However, it’s important to remember that stereotypes are never entirely accurate. It’s perfectly reasonable to take generational needs into account when making decisions, but make sure that you aren’t treating people differently based off of them.

Besides, if you start to stereotype generations in the workplace – what stops employees from stereotyping each other?

Understand what each generation wants and needs

Due to growing up in different times, with different events and concerns, each generation tends to have different values.  They also have different working requirements and expectations. This isn’t to say that an individual employee may not go against what their generation is touted to value, but that it can definitely help you when accommodating different age groups.

Understanding where your employees’ wants and needs stem from can help you form a more complete and tolerant understanding of them. As an example, a word often used to describe millennials are “entitled”, “self-obsessed” and “lazy”. An alternative interpretation, however, is that millennials are really more focused on having the work/life balance their parents didn’t have.

Think about how different those two perspectives are. As a manager, having a lazy, difficult employee is far different to having an employee who wants to be home to feed their children.

This works for all generations. With a little understanding, most negative stereotypes have no purchase.

Most employees you hire are not going to be intrinsically disagreeable. If you can understand their perspective and what drives them, you’ll be able to resolve conflict more efficiently.

Understand each generation’s strengths – and weaknesses

One of the biggest benefits to having such a diverse workforce is the variety of skills and life experience your office is home to. Certain generations will have skills that others don’t and other generations will have experience that others don’t. If you can understand each generation, you can utilise your entire workforce to create a complete solution.

A noteworthy idea that some businesses encourage is for employees with generational gaps to mentor and learn skills from one another. This helps to bridge skills, improve employee bonds and lessen generational tension.

Support each generation

Another way to ensure your office runs smoothly is to support employees while they work for you. This isn’t to say that you need to give employees special treatment. Sometimes simple acknowledgement is enough. Understanding that certain tasks may be easier or harder; working styles could differ; benefits for one person may not be the same for another.

These are just a few ways that you can ensure that your office is ready to be hosting five different generations as smoothly as possible.

The Pros And Cons Of Sit-Standing Desks – Should You Buy One?

Today, we’re going to be exploring the benefits of sit-stand desks and the drawbacks, so you can discover whether your office really needs one.

Sit-stand desks are an increasingly popular choice for workplaces worldwide – and for good reason! With claims of fixing back-pain, correcting posture problems, increasing productivity and more, it’s no hardship to see why the sit-stand desk is so popular.

However, how true are all these claims?

Explaining the sudden rise of sit-stand desks: the importance of standing

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the sit-stand desk is just another meaningless fad, but that could not be further from the truth.

With our lengthening life spans, taking care of our health is increasingly important. Shopping trends have started to reflect this; consumers are more conscious about their health than ever before.

While the importance of exercise for our health is well known, recent studies have uncovered that exercise isn’t enough. Furthermore, it’s not just that exercise is good – living a sedentary lifestyle is bad for us. Studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time actively harms our health.

The World Health Organization identified a sedentary lifestyle as the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.

This translates directly into the workplace. The average British office worker spends 35-40 hours a week sitting at their desk, not including sitting down to commute and time spent sitting for leisure. All this time sitting down contributes to a number of harmful consequences such as:

Naturally, on the heels of this research, people grew increasingly concerned about their work habits – enter the sit-stand desk. The sit-stand desk is an adjustable desk that allows office workers to use it whilst standing or sitting, offering them the ability to stand up during their work day.

Health Concerns Around Standing

While there are a lot of health concerns around the sedentary lifestyle, this doesn’t mean that the answer is never sitting down again. On the contrary, there is research to suggest that too much standing can have a negative health impact too.

In fact, there has been a study showing that jobs requiring employees to stand up all day were associated with an approximately 2-fold risk of heart disease compared to those that were sitting. That being said, it’s worth keeping in mind the fact other factors of standing jobs (such as operating machinery, carrying heavy items, being in high-stress environments such as sales etc.).

One of the likely reasons for this is the fact that standing causes blood to pool in the legs and there is increased stress when pumping it back up to the heart. Excessive standing has also been linked to varicose veins, clogged arteries and night cramps.

The benefits of sit-stand desks are vast – but maybe the fact that they allow you to sit and stand is the biggest one. If you shouldn’t sit too much and you shouldn’t stand . . . what is the best thing for your health? As with many things, the solution seems to be a happy medium.

Benefits Of Sit-Stand Desks

Now that you have an overview of the science behind the concept, we’re going to identify and explain the benefits of sit-stand desks.

1. Allows you to break up hours of sitting

As we’ve explained in the previous section, sitting down for too long is harmful. However, it’s also inevitable if you work in an office.

The idea of getting up for breaks every hour may sound doable in principle, but in practice it may be less so. You may be working to tight deadlines and not have the time to spare; you might work in customer service and have to be present to answer the phones.

The first benefit of sit-stand desks is the ability to break that streak of sitting down, while still working. You can seamlessly switch between sitting and standing during the workday, so you don’t have to take constant breaks.

2. Standing is beneficial for your health (in moderation)

Not only does standing ensure you aren’t sitting still for too long, standing for part of the day is actively good for your health. Standing for three hours a day has the health benefits of running 10 marathons a year!

3. You have the option to sit and stand

We’ve touched on the fact that standing all day can be just as harmful as sitting, so having a standing desk may not be the solution. However, one of the biggest health benefits of sit-stand desks is the ability to adjust the settings to both sitting and standing height. This allows you and your employees to create a balance between the two throughout the day that fits you.

4. Good for productivity and focus

Amongst all the health benefits of sit-stand desks, there are workplace improvements too. Studies have shown that in some offices the introduction of sit-stand desks increased productivity by 46%! Not only do sit-stand desks improve your employee’s health, they improve their working ability – a solid investment, in our books.

6. Helps to maintain a healthy weight as you burn more calories

The last benefit of sit-stand desks that we’re sharing today is the fact they help employees to maintain a healthy weight and reduce obesity. When you think about it, it’s logical – sitting down expends far less energy than standing, so your body burns less calories sitting.

Studies have shown that employees utilising a standing desk burned 0.7 calories extra per minute; this adds up to around 50 calories an hour and, even better, over the course of a year, you would burn 30,000 calories. (Based off spending three hours a day standing, five days a week.)

These are just six of the many health benefits that sit-stand desks have to offer. If you are interested in providing your office with sit-stand desks, here at Quills we have a wide range of options. Feel free to send us an enquiry, or have a browse of our digital brochure.

Call: 0845 078 0324   Email: sales@quillsuk.co.uk   Live chat: www.quillsuk.co.uk

8 Ways You Can Improve Health In The Office For Your Employees

Today, we will be sharing our top ways to improve health in the office – and some actionable ideas that you can start to implement immediately.

When you’re running an office, the most valuable asset is the people working in it. Your employees are the main factor affecting your business and its subsequent earnings.

One of the biggest things that will affect how efficient your office is? The health of your employees. An unhealthy office is unproductive. Employees aren’t working to their full capacity and there will be absences, costing you both time and money.

Fortunately, there are ways to avoid an unhealthy office – and we’re going to share 8 of those ways with you.

 1. Add a plant to the office

Plants are a quick and easy way to improve health in the office! Boasting multiple health benefits, plants are a triple threat: they make employees happier, healthier and more productive.

  • Neuropsychological symptoms were reduced by 23% when plants were present. Fatigue reduced the most – by 30%.
  • Mucous membrane symptoms were reduced by 24% overall when plants were present. Cough decreased by 37% and dry throat by 25%.
  • Dry or flushed skin was reduced by 23% with plants in the workspace. – Source

We’ve already written an entire post describing the benefits of adding plants to your office, so feel free to read that for further information.

2. Make some improvements to the air quality.

One of the benefits of having plants in the workplace is the fact that plants help to improve air quality. That said, there’s much more to improving and maintaining air quality.

Unfortunately, it’s not only common but easy for offices to become victims of low-quality air. Ventilation may not be the best and the air can easily become stagnant . . . which makes it even easier for pollution to build.

Pollutants are everywhere – fumes released from cars; smoke from cigarettes your employees’ smoking breaks in the parking lot; energy used for heating and lighting. Pollutants are pretty inescapable, but it’s certainly possible to minimise their damage and ensure they aren’t sitting around, building up in the air.

Improving air quality within the workplace is a great way to improve health in the office. Fortunately, there is an easy way that you can improve your air quality!

Use an air purifier.

An air purifier is the easiest solution to problems with air quality. It’s also an incredibly cost-efficient option compared to having to install a new ventilation system for your office! Air purifiers do exactly what it says on the tin – they purify air and filter out pollutants.

Our partner company Rebel offer fantastic air purifiers that we highly recommend.

Designer Air Purifier with Permanent Filter

Air Purifier with Permanent Filter – £95.99

3. Utilise sit-stand desks for employees

Sit-stand desks are a relatively new introduction to the world of workplaces, but they’re massively popular – and for good reason. We all know how important exercise is for our us, but studies have shown that sitting down for long periods of time actively harms our health.

Sitting at a desk in the office is unavoidable, but using a sit-stand desk allows your employees the option to switch between sitting and standing during their workday. This not only improves their health long-term but also improves their mood and energy levels, in term making them even more productive!

Image result for sit stand desk

If such a simple change can so massively improve health in the office, why not invest in a few sit-stand desks? Here at Quills, we provide a variety of sit-stand desks, so feel free to send over an enquiry for your office.

4. Encourage healthy eating in the office

A healthy diet is the best weapon against illness, so encouraging employees to make healthier choices with their eating habits can significantly help to improve the overall health of your office.

There are many simple ways that you can do this, such as switching unhealthy snacks for fruit, providing fruit bowls, removing sugary drinks from the vending machines and more!

5. Make sure you have a water machine available for employees to use

Making drinking water readily available for your employees has a wide range of benefits. Hydrated workers will be healthier, able to perform their duties more effectively and for longer periods of time; the difficulty lies in convincing your employees to remain hydrated.

Tap water, while readily available, often does not taste as appealing – and having a vending machine full of sugary drinks can tempt your employees to go for unhealthier options. Providing free, easily accessible water for your office workers is a great way to encourage them to stay hydrated.

Having a water dispenser for your employees is an easy way to improve health in the office.

If you are interested in water dispensers and other water solutions for your office, Quills provide a vast range of options. Feel free to take a look in our digital catalogue (pages 692-693), or send us an enquiry.

6. Provide disinfectant for the office

Offices are a breeding pit for germs. The average office desk has 400 times more germs than a toilet seat! People are constantly touching their keyboards, mice, desks and stationery . . . but all this touching transfers germs. Not to mention, when employees move around the office, they share their germs – and the longer these bacteria are left, the more they multiply.

Providing disinfectant in the workplace can help improve health in the office by making sure that any germs they pick up from around the office are destroyed before your employees are harmed by them.

7. Enforce a smoke-free workplace

Smoking is an incredibly unhealthy habit – but did you know that second-hand smoke is just as bad for you? If your employees smoke, the smoke can actually affect the air in the office too.

Enforcing a smoke-free workplace is a great benefit for both employees who smoke and those that don’t; it helps to ensure neither are breathing in the harmful toxins in cigarette smoke. If your employees do smoke, a policy specifying no smoking near the office building is a good idea.

8. Install ergonomic chairs

Finally, our last suggestion is the use of ergonomic chairs.

Ergonomic chairs are special pieces of furniture designed to ensure that employees remain comfortable throughout the day. This is achieved by ensuring the user’s body is in the best possible position.

Office workers usually spend a majority of their days hunched over a computer screen, not at all focused on their posture. Sedentary activity can develop into a number of problems – carpal tunnel syndrome and back or neck pain to name a few – that are both short and long term damaging to your employees’ health and productivity.

Ergonomic chairs are an easy way to prevent this and improve health in the office. Plus, ensuring that your employees are feeling more comfortable means that they’ll be able to work for longer periods of time.

If Ergonomic chairs are an office solution you are interested in, Quills provide an extensive range. Send us an enquiry for more details!

Those are our 8 top tips for improving health within the office; hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of these to ensure your office is running as efficiently as possible.

Call: 0845 078 0324   Email: sales@quillsuk.co.uk   Live chat: www.quillsuk.co.uk