Oliver Berger presents a eco-business certification to John Hack and Guff of O-Netrix Solutions in Williams Lake for their commitment to reduce, reuse and recycle.

COLUMNS: CCCS launches eco-business coaching program

What is the eco-business coaching program?

What is the eco-business coaching program?

Well, here at the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society, we want to help businesses achieve Waste Wise and Water Wise practices at work just like we all do at home. Sometimes it can be hard to take your eco-friendly habits to the workplace. Perhaps the layout of the building works against you, maybe your boss doesn’t want to spend any extra money or time on it, or it’s been a battle to convince your coworkers to recycle? And where do you bring it all? Well, we are here to help!

A few weeks back O-Netrix Solutions Inc. allowed us to present at their office. We talked with the owner and fellow staff just before one of their staff meetings and discussed sustainability options for the business and the impacts we all have on the environment even while we are at work.

We also toured around the office sharing ideas on how to handle waste and where to save water. We are happy to report electronic waste and most recyclables are sorted very well and handled quite efficiently. They are happy to have now added pens and compost to their already impressive waste diversion practices.

“Everybody picked up something,” said John Hack, owner of O-Netrix Solutions Inc.

The presentation was beneficial for all parties — we learned a lot from each other.

It is helpful to have a few dedicated staff in your place of work who can manage all the different waste streams. Organization is key. It is even more beneficial when these employees can accomplish these tasks during paid work hours. At O-Netrix, Lorne ‘Guff’ Gulliford is this person.

He takes care of the proper handling and delivery of recyclables around town. He also keeps all employees on their toes when it comes to their waste and what can or cannot be recycled. They must feel the same way my family does when I come to visit.

We have also had an on-site visit with the Williams Lake Golf and Tennis Club to discuss their waste management strategies.

We discussed how to manage all the excess packaging they deal with in their pro shop.

The topic of grass came up and the course superintendent explained he is experimenting with various forms of compost (including some from the Potato House) for soil amendment instead of using nitrogen fertilizers.

The restaurant is also researching a paper straw implementation, and for now they will only serve straws upon request to reduce that unnecessary waste.

Different businesses create different forms of waste and consume different forms of energy to accomplish their goals.

It is important to focus on where you can implement change most effectively overall. The eco-business program is a quick and easy introduction to helping make energy-wise decisions a reality.

Thanks to the generous support of our many funding partners we are able to offer this program to businesses free of charge. Call us today at 250-398-7929 to learn more.

Conservation Tip of the Month: Did you know most office-related waste is recyclable, including paper, cardboard, printer ink, batteries, ballpoint pens and even Sharpies!

Down to Earth is a monthly column submitted by members of the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

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