Smart Sustainability: Ways We’re Reducing Waste

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One of the most rewarding parts of being a part of the pictureframes.com family is their commitment to this planet, on how to keep it thriving while we do what we humans do to it (and we generally do a lot). If we want to leave a good world for our children and grandchildren we’ve all got to pitch in, and I’m proud to work for a company that’s dedicated to doing that. One big initiative we work towards is waste reduction. As a company, we’re always pushing for more ways to reduce our footprint, and being zero landfill is a big part of that.

 

Reducing Through Reuse + Recycling

Recycling is big. At pictureframes.com, we recycle and/or upcycle as much as possible. That includes aluminum, cardboard, acrylic glazing, bubble wrap, office paper and moulding scraps. (What we can’t use or recycle, we donate: to schools, art programs and nonprofits that can use moulding scraps for art projects. Everyone gets to have some fun!) We even turn our pallets into mulch and recycle our gently-used equipment and obsolete computer hardware! In total, we recycle 14 different raw materials and their by-products, which has resulted in reducing our waste per order by 66% in just the last two years! Pretty great.

Smiling boy in arts class holding work of art

We’ve developed a cool relationship with a local ink & toner fulfillment company that refills and recycles our cartridges so they are continually reused and don’t end up in a landfill.

Electronic waste, batteries and other toxic household items like CFL light bulbs (big challenges!) are taken to special processing locations. This way they don’t go to a landfill and leach into our soil and groundwater. And the company makes this available to every employee so we can make the same conscious choice and simply drop these items off at work.

 

Out of the Box Thinking

We love our beautiful, award-winning catalog. Even more so because none of its by-products – including excess paper ­– end up in a landfill. Everything is recycled, thanks to the green consciousness of the certified Green Tier partner whom we chose to produce it.

As you can imagine, we’ve got a lot of boxes coming in and out of pictureframes.com. That’s why one of our brilliant team members started a “send it forward” project so that we re-mail and repurpose as many of these boxes as possible. (Here’s a cool fact: maintaining the original shape of a box lengthens its life – the recycling process shortens fibers, limiting the number of times it can be reused to about six or seven).

Robby, an awesome member of our Fulfillment Team

Toss it!

Don’t get me wrong. We still have to take out the trash. But we’ve found a way to decrease how many trash hauls and recycling center trips we make (and thus lessen carbon emissions), while our handy new trash compactor/crusher means using fewer trash bags.

Smarter Solutions

We’ve also created an Outlet Frame Shop and Sale where returned frames, overstocked items and end runs are available to our creative community in the Piedmont Triad. This is such a win-win: it lets us be continually eco-responsible, makes our products accessible to our neighbors at a discount, and keeps it all out of a landfill. Are you located close to the Triad? Follow the Outlet Frame Sale on Facebook and attend our next frame sale soon!

Customer at our most recent Outlet Frame Sale

Customer at our most recent Outlet Frame Sale

All Hands on Deck

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming to recycle and reuse at home. What to keep, where to take what I’m finished with; it’s really a daily exercise in conscious waste management! Well, at pictureframes.com we now have what we’ve lovingly dubbed as a Freecycling Center. With these centers we welcome everyone who works here to bring their gently used personal goods in, and drop them in our Freecycle Boxes. Other employees can take them for reuse. And, suddenly spring cleaning doesn’t seem so daunting! Items that don’t exchange hands are often donated to a local homeless shelter.

Homeless Shelter Donation

A recent load of items donated to a local homeless shelter

We like to have fun, just like you. And we’ve found a way to do that with you while raising green awareness and promoting cultural change. How? We host events throughout the year. From “Trash Mobs” (think “flash mob”) to Earth Month celebrations, and more.

Conscious Waste = Zero Landfill.

Thanks to everything I’ve shared here – and more ­– we’ve achieved our zero-landfill goal at pictureframes.com. We even repurpose whatever small amount of waste that remains into energy or materials used to make concrete (who would’a thunk?).

Thanks for helping us grow and achieve our goals while we continue to reach higher. Know of any ways we might be able to improve our process and remove even more waste? Share with us in the comments!

Written by Roominate contributor, Cheryl 

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