I recently returned from a trip to Hawaii, where Oahu has implemented a new rule stopping shops from giving out bags with purchases.
You either have to pay 15c for a paper bag, or bring your own.
Although I make an effort at home to use less plastic, it was noticeable how much difference the rule made. Instead of amassing a mountain of plastic, we made good use of the handful of big paper bags we did buy, and remembered reusable bags at the supermarket.
More and more people are paying attention to the little ways they can make a difference to the environment. But while there's a lot of emphasis on what consumers can do, even more importantly there are roles for business, too.
Go paperless: It's time to stop paying lip service to the idea of a paperless office and make it happen. You can do this through better use of software, multiple screens and cloud storage. Get your clients to agree to receive all communications electronically.
Take a stance and plan: Talk to your team about the things you'd like to see change and commit to rules that everyone including your customers can see. Can you agree that you'll buy your coffee in bulk with reusable containers, or even grab that sushi takeout in a reusable container, and commit to a programme of recycling.
Look at your packaging: If you sell products, are they packaged in single-use plastics? Do you offer your customers means to recycle your products once they reach the end of their useful lives? If you run a food business, do you encourage your customers to bring in reusable containers for takeaway products? You may be able to create some loyalty and possibly save some cost for doing so.
Talk about it: If you're in a service business, explain to your customers why you're making changes. If they understand why, they are more likely to support you.
On my trip, I found even being asked whether I needed a bag was reminder enough. If you can make your staff and customers more conscious about their impact on the environment, you should start to see a lasting change.
Jeremy Tauri is an associate at Plus Chartered Accountants.
Phone: (09) 438 3322
Fax: 438 8455
134 Bank Street, Whangarei
If we had to sum up Brent and the team at Plus CA it would be - humorous, efficient, professional with a real focus on making your money work to its best ability for you...we will continue to deal with them even though we are moving overseas as we know they have our best interests at heart.
Jeremy thank you for your patience, assistance and general chit chat over the years. I would have absolutely no issue in recommending your services to everyone and anyone – in fact, I do.
We recently employed Jeremy Tauri of Plus Chartered Accountants and have been thrilled with the improved service we have received. Jeremy is really approachable and always available to answer queries. At his instigation we have set up quarterly meetings so that we are regularly reviewing our business and avoiding any ‘end of year surprises’.