Thank you for completing the Hazon Seal Waste Prevention/Material Management Assessment!
The suggestions below are based on your responses to the assessment, and are designed to get you thinking about what sort of projects your organization should consider to improve its sustainability impact. You are not required to take on all or even any of the suggestions offered.
Recommendations based on assessment taken May 12, 2022
Conducting a waste audit can be an informative first step toward reducing your organization’s waste. The results can help guide policy development for the highest impact. Check out this resource for guidance and step-by-step instructions on conducting a waste audit.
We recommend offering an e-newsletter and encouraging your community members to forgo the paper version. While newsletters are a great way to connect with your community, they are generally read once, if at all, before being discarded. Depending on the size of your community, that could mean a lot of paper is consumed and thrown away each year.
A used goods swap or drive of some kind, such as books, clothes, and toys can be a great way to divert unwanted items from the landfills. It can also be a great way to bring your community together and provides a potential fundraising opportunity.
Making proper use of the existing recycling infrastructure can help individuals and institutions reduce their environmental impact. Additionally, products made with recycled content typically require less use of raw material and energy inputs than the same product made from virgin material. Check out our Recycling Program toolkit for more information.
With so many things to think about in a day, most of us are creatures of habit and convenience. In order to prevent recyclable materials from going to the landfill, it is important to provide clearly marked recycling bins anywhere there are trash cans to make it as straightforward as possible for your staff and/or members to put their waste in the right place.
It is challenging to know what is recyclable, as well as how it should be sorted, separated and cleaned. There are many misunderstandings, poor assumptions and honest confusion due to companies and municipalities having different policies and equipment capabilities. Therefore, it is important to provide appropriate and adequate signage. Try to discourage “wishcycling” – the practice of putting things you hope will be recycled in the recycling bin. Contamination with non-recyclable garbage can cause major issues at recycling facilities. Check out our Recycling Program toolkit for more information.
How we steward the lands we own can have a tremendous impact on the humans and non-humans living in our communities. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are ubiquitous and harmful to the environment, but land can be managed without them. Consider contracting with a landscaper who uses sustainable practices; look at directories on the Ecological Landscape Alliance, or Northeast Organic Farmers Association. Or talk with your current landscaper about adopting more sustainable practice; check out Perfect Earth for tips on having this conversation.