The hype of eco-responsibility had spread across various industries, including the storage sector. Owners are doing their best to decrease the ecological print their business leaves by applying eco-friendly solutions that are aimed at decreasing power consumption and reducing waste. If you too are interested in contributing to the battle to save the planet, here are 6 easy changes you can make to your warehouse business to make it greener.
1. All the colors of recycling
If you are ecologically responsible, then you probably already have several bins at your house for separating waste. Commercial recycling is a bit different, but in general, it all comes down to bins of different colors. Those dark green or black bins are for general waste; paper, plastic, metal, and glass usually go into a yellow bin; while paper and cardboard belong to a bin with a blue lid. The number and the type of recyclables depend on the options available in your local area, but in general, you should try to sort as many types of waste as you can. Since you deal with tons of raw material and packaging, it would be a shame not to recycle it all in your warehouse.
2. A greener mindset
You can have all the colors of bins in the world but if there aren’t conscientious people putting trash inside them, then all your effort to recycle will go to waste, pun intended. You have to be on the same page with the workforce on this one because you need everybody’s help to turn your warehouse business into an eco-friendly and sustainable operation.
The biggest obstacle is the fear of change and the lack of knowledge about the importance of industrial recycling. Try to include these points during team building activities and organize briefings to explain the importance of going. You are bound to encounter colleagues willing to cooperate with you on this green initiative but if there are still individuals reluctant to recycle even after all the education you have organize for them, then you are left with no other choice then to make their bonuses go in the red since they’re obviously not fond the color green.
3. Better equipment
Like your competitors, you too are probably implementing new technologies in your daily operations. However, newer does not necessarily imply greener, so you should consider environmental friendliness as an important factor when shopping for warehouse equipment that you hope will improve your business. For instance, electric forklifts operate using less power but they have the same performance levels. The same goes for every other piece of motorized or automated equipment, such as conveyor belts and packaging machines. Basically, every piece of hardware inside the warehouse should comply with strict regulations that ensure they use the least amount of power needed to operate properly.
4. Ushering in a new type of light
Warehouses usually take up a lot of space, which implies a lot of square meters that need to be lit at night. Back in the day, this meant installing a huge number of light bulbs that couldn’t but waste a huge amount of energy. Luckily, we live in the era of LED lights that use up significantly less power to operate; according to some researches at least half the energy needed to heat an incandescent lightbulb. The heating is another issue because you need to store goods on pallets that rise up high in the air, almost touching the ceiling. Because incandescent lightbulbs generate a lot of heat alongside the light, this means that the boxes stored at the topmost shelves get heated to the point its content can be damaged. This cannot happen if you use LED lights that lose only 5% of energy on unnecessary heating up. Furthermore, they are known to last as much as 25 times longer than conventional lightbulbs.
5. Installing solar panels on the roof
A potential downside to using LED lights inside the warehouse is their relatively high initial price. However, they are so efficient that this investment pays off in no time, which is the case with installing solar panels on the roof of the warehouse. Your warehouse most probably has a flat or a mildly slanted roof, which is ideal for mounting solar panels to provide you with a cheap source of renewable energy. Admittedly, these panels cost a small fortune to install but as the years go by this investment will start paying off. Apart from doing away with the electricity bill at the end of every month, you will benefit from a stable source of electricity that will power the machines inside the warehouse, like the forklift we previously mentioned.
6. Redesign the packaging
The storage industry deals with a lot of different packaging and the sad truth is that so much material goes to waste. Just think of apple encased in plastic that you can buy at the local supermarket and you will realize how severe this issue is. If you switching to biodegradable materials instead of plastic for packaging, you can both save money and help preserve the environment. All the waste plastic that does end up inside your warehouse should go inside the bin with the yellow lid.
p class=”western”>Reducing your carbon footprint your warehouse makes is not that complicated. Even replacing a single lightbulb with its energy-efficient substitute presents a huge change in terms of ecology. Finally, reducing and sorting recyclable waste is the final mechanism through which you can make your warehouse business go green full-throttle.
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