Being green requires a change of mindset. Recycling isn't just about saving resources, it is about eliminating waste. When we hear of trash floating in the ocean or washing up on the US shorelines it should remind us about how our actions affect our world. If we recycle our goods, we can limit the amount of trash that ends up in landfills or even in our rivers, lakes and oceans. Purchasing from companies that use recycled materials in their production or daily business operations is one way to do your part in conservation and eliminate waste.
Bisque Imports understands the importance of protecting our environment for future generations. We are committed to going green in our workplace and in our product shipping materials. While this change takes time, know that we are working to keep our world and the people with whom we have contact healthy and productive.
Bisque Imports is dedicated to preserving the environment and endeavors to prolong our natural resources through conscientious efforts of conservation, recycling, waste reduction and exploration of ways to better support and revitalize our community and the world in which we live, work and play.
In a time where so many buildings are being torn down for more extravagant replacements, we've opted to make eco-friendly adjustments to our existing historic buildings. In fact, BI moved into its third historic mill in the fall of 2013! Simple enhancements, such as enclosing more of the vast facility, allow us to conserve energy. This allows us to work with the community as we endeavor to preserve history and eliminates the energy required to remove the existing structure and rebuild in the same site.
While operating in a century old building has its charms, there are also unique challenges. We rewire our facility's lighting to reduce on unnecessary electricity usage through unused transformers and wire feeds. We have recycled all of the unused copper in our building and are in the process of recycling the steel and aluminum from unused ductwork in our warehouse.
We recently installed motion sensitive lighting in areas of our warehouse that are not actively used. This allows for a huge energy savings and conservation of electrical power. In fact, in the three months after completing this project in our former building, we reduced our energy consumption by 30%! At that rate, the new green lighting paid for itself in 3.5 years.
Recycled/Recyclable Packing Materials:
Use the recycled cardboard that is included in your BI shipments to wrap your customers' pieces. Does your studio ship a lot of finished work? Use the cardboard as packing material for your shipments. Here's a tip, you can also get some really cool effects by stamping it on your pottery! You can also work trades with your local shipping stores such as UPS or FedEx. Talk to them about using your packing materials in exchange for better shipping rates or even painting in your studio. You can take that relationship a step further by letting customers know what you are doing. That is great marketing for you and your shipping partner.
We use recycled/recyclable packing paper and boxes for product shipping. This paper cushioning system is made of 100% recyclable, biodegradable material. In addition, we've worked hard to eliminate packing peanuts from our shipments.
We get excited about any opportunity to repurpose materials and enjoy knowing that we are continually conserving our resources.
Here's what we've done around our office to be more green. Maybe you could try some of these ideas in your business!
- – Implemented a recycling program for paper, plastic, and glass.
- – We reuse paper; print reports on the back or use as scrap paper
- – Reuse our cardboard boxes by shredding them with an unique new machine, which allows use to use them as packing material
- – Encourage our customers to reduce paper use by submitting online orders instead of faxes
- – The greenest paper is no paper at all. Our paper use is reduced by e-mailing invoices. We use very little paper in the office.
- – Reduced amount of paper used by printing less catalogs and price sheets
- – When we do print catalogs, flyers, postcards or invoices, we print on recycled paper.
- – Place pdf files of training manuals, marketing materials, flyers, MSDS sheets, etc. online
- – Re-designing our website and enhancing functionality to provide for a more user-friendly experience.
- – Web is always updated with the newest info, thus we will print catalogs less often and with less pages
- – Use web-based programs for advertise promotions and events
- – Send holiday e-cards instead of printing cards (saves on postage, too)!
- – Use ceramic mugs or glassware for beverages instead of disposable cups thus reducing waste. When paper products are used, recyclable options are chosen
- – New water filtering system for drinking water instead of bringing in water cooler and large water bottles. Saves on fuel/emissions from the truck delivering to us each week.
- – We use Duncan's environmentally-friendly Pure Brilliance!
- – Turn off all lights in the building when we leave
- – We are refurbishing our 100-year-old building to make it more energy efficient!
Manufacturing: The employees in our manufacturing facility are paid higher wages than most that work in production facilities due to the complex nature of the products we design and the high quality standards that we require. In addition, safety is a priority in our facility and the standards for employee safety are high.
All materials used in manufacturing, such as molds used to create greenware, are recycled and made into new molds thus resulting in very little waste. Since our clay is made from natural materials, any imperfect bisque is crushed and recycled by resubmitting it to the earth and allowing it to decompose naturally. Shipping boxes are made from recycled materials.
Since earthenware is fired to a relatively low temperature, less energy is consumed during production. Additionally, the Chinese conserve energy and protect the environment by riding bicycles instead of using cars.
How can you be more green?
Energy Consumption: Save energy in your home or office by shutting down computers instead of leaving them on standby each night. Computers on standby status continue to draw power.
Boost Productivity: Initiate a healthy employees program. Consider allowing time for exercise during work hours (certain amount of hours each week). Healthy employees are happy and produce better quality and accurate work.
Reduce Waste: Re-use (packing paper for customer' pieces) or recycle your boxes and packing paper. Recycle beverage bottles and cans used or purchased in your business.
Protect the Environment: Use environmentally friendly cleaning products such as biodegradable soaps and cleaners along with recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen. Use sustainable office supplies.
Preserve our Resources: Conserve water by turning it off between uses instead of letting it run as you perform other tasks.
Purchase Fair Trade coffee for the break room.
Provide easy access recycling bins so that recycling is just as easy as throwing paper away.
Pens and pencils can also be made of recycled materials, and refillable pens and markers are preferable to disposable ones.
Buy in bulk so that shipping and packaging waste are reduced, and reuse the shipping boxes. Recycling printer cartridges is often free, and recycled replacements are cheaper than new ones.
Purchasing recycled materials is not the most inexpensive route, but rather an investing in our community and the world. Recycling reduces waste and saves money in the long run. Greening your company's building can save money, boost productivity, earn respect for your company, and have a huge environmental impact since buildings account for roughly 30% of total CO2 emissions.
Start a recycling program in your studio. If you sell cans or bottled drinks, be sure that you have a recycling area for your customers. If you do not have recycling pick up in your area, encourage your customers to recycle on their own by providing a list of local recycling stations.
Eliminate or cut the use of paper towels in your studio. Have a good supply of cloth towels for hand drying, brush drying and table cleaning. Wash the towels in cold water to conserve the energy it takes to heat water and consider energy efficient appliances when the time comes for such a purchase.
"I'm so happy to see that you're not using the Styrofoam popcorn anymore to pack your products. My shipment arrived in perfect condition and I don't feel guilty throwing out the paper packing materials. Keep up the good work. Your new catalog looks great, too." - Elise Leasure
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for not using Styrofoam in your shipping anymore!!" - Hannah Crowley, Van Grow Studio, Fort Worth, TX
Think about how you can make an impact, small or big, in your community. Even the smallest efforts will make a difference. Anything you can do to help conserve our natural resources and reduce waste will benefit us all.
Send your comments and suggestions to [email protected]