Sustainability101 Blog

4 Dec 2019

Need help planning a zero waste event? This guide will put you on the right path in just 10 simple steps. Use this checklist to help you plan large or small events, including office parties, conferences, meetings, galas, or even festivals.…  Continue Reading...

27 Nov 2019

This article originally appeared in QSR magazine, Nov. 2019. With the holiday season fast approaching, businesses, especially restaurants, will likely begin experiencing more food waste. Did you know the largest component of most commercial waste streams is organics? A large…  Continue Reading...

6 Nov 2019

This article originally appeared in the NYSAR3 Fall 2019 Newsletter. Have you looked in your trash lately? Understanding what is in your waste stream is key to helping you reduce, reuse and recycle effectively. A waste audit may reveal some surprises.…  Continue Reading...

6 Nov 2019

Photo: Dan Gold, Unsplash Client: A fast casual national chain with locations across the country. Summary: Great Forest conducted food waste audits at 3 locations of a national restaurant chain, revealing that the chain could rescue an average of 26.7% of…  Continue Reading...

30 Oct 2019

When the trick and treating is all done, what you have left are mountains of candy wrappers, decorations, costumes, and food. Around 600 million pounds of candy are bought for Halloween, and about 12,500 tons of Halloween costumes are sent to…  Continue Reading...

25 Sep 2019

Have you received your Waste and Recycling Scorecard? Wondering how to read it, and use it to help you achieve your goals? Here are some answers: What is the Waste and Recycling Scorecard? Your Great Forest Waste and Recycling Scorecard gives…  Continue Reading...

18 Sep 2019

This year’s Waste Expo included a terrific discussion on the importance of data, featuring Great Forest’s director of national accounts Joe Romuno and three other industry colleagues (shout out to Chris Ronson, Re-TRAC; Steve Steven, Rehrig Pacific; and Emily Covan, Recyclist.) If you missed…  Continue Reading...

4 Sep 2019

It’s back to school season. The start (or end) of another academic year is the perfect time for schools, colleges and universities to think about setting up a zero waste campus. According to Dump and Run, Inc., the average college…  Continue Reading...

28 Aug 2019

Going zero waste does not mean that you have to stop producing waste immediately. Many businesses achieve their zero waste goals by adopting a series of small steps that steadily reduce waste. Here’s an example. “The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco…  Continue Reading...

6 Aug 2019

The record heat this summer (and for many summers to come) mean higher energy costs for most businesses. Here is what you can do to control and lower your energy costs, while still beating the heat. Shield the sun: Shield…  Continue Reading...

31 Jul 2019

A lack of clarity about what zero waste really means may be keeping some businesses from reaping the benefits of going zero waste. So let’s dispel the misconceptions. What Is Zero Waste?  Exact definitions may vary, but to put it simply……  Continue Reading...

21 Jun 2019

By now most of you will have heard of the Climate Mobilization Act (CMA), signed in May 2019 in NYC, also known as Intro 1253 or Local Law 97 of 2019. While NYC is one of the first cities in the world…  Continue Reading...

5 Jun 2019

Around the world, businesses are increasingly being pressured by rising waste costs, public opinion, or by law to take action on food waste. Rather than seeing it as a problem, businesses should seize the opportunity to invest in food waste…  Continue Reading...

8 May 2019

From Waste 360: May 6, 2019 |  Sarah Womer, Founder of Zero to Go & Sustainability Consultant at Great Forest Sarah saw a recycling problem in her hometown, which propelled her to take action, turning her biggest passion into a grassroots…  Continue Reading...

3 Apr 2019

Want a primer on zero waste and understanding your waste stream? Watch these two videos below with your kids. Both are great introductions to the topic. We’d like to thank Planet Bonehead for these fun lessons in sustainability, which are distributed…  Continue Reading...

29 Mar 2019

Earth Hour 2019 is on 30 March 2019, 8:30 pm. Earth Hour, which began as a lights out event in 2007, has grown to become an international movement encouraging individuals and businesses alike to raise the conversation and spark action about ways…  Continue Reading...

20 Mar 2019

Glass is infinitely recyclable without loss in quality. Recycling glass has many proven environmental benefits–it reduces emissions, saves energy, and reduces consumption of raw materials. And as a common household item, recycling the material maintains much public support. In fact, 93% of…  Continue Reading...

4 Mar 2019

Missed us at Swanapalooza? See our poster below, or click for a pdf. Related: Over 100 Waste Audits Reveal 77% Of Commercial Trash Is Not Trash At All!  Continue Reading...

13 Feb 2019

Waste costs have been rising and seem slated to continue its ascend.  Depending on where your business is located,  the forecast over a five-year period is an increase of between 4.8% to 10.7% in MSW tipping fees. Take a look at…  Continue Reading...

23 Jan 2019

In response to rising waste costs and the passing of the waste audits San Francisco mandate in December 2018 (requiring the city’s largest waste generators to conduct waste audits every three years), Great Forest CEO Ross Guberman tells leading industry news…  Continue Reading...

2 Jan 2019

More than 27.4 million real Christmas trees were sold in the U.S. in 2017, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. What happens to them after the holidays is up to us! Remember, trees that end up in the garbage will…  Continue Reading...

12 Dec 2018

A version of this article was published in Environmental Leader. The conversations are getting louder — people and businesses are getting more concerned about waste, in particular food waste and plastic pollution, and also about recycling. Costs are rising. We’ve all…  Continue Reading...

21 Nov 2018

Effective January 1, 2019 businesses, nonprofits and agencies can no longer sell or use any expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam items, such as single-service items like cups, bowls, plates, takeout containers, and trays or loose fill packaging, aka “packing peanuts”.  See exceptions to…  Continue Reading...

27 Sep 2018

Is it time for your business to take carbon footprint accounting and reporting seriously? Many small and medium-sized businesses have yet to calculate their impacts and risks.  If you know your businesses’ carbon footprint, chances are you work for a Fortune…  Continue Reading...

19 Sep 2018

Are you in compliance? New York City businesses are required by law to separate their organic waste. Hotels and other businesses in the hospitality industry are most likely to be affected. In NYC, we’ve reported that inspections are up and that…  Continue Reading...

12 Sep 2018

In April 2018, it was announced that over 100 projects had been certified under the TRUE Zero Waste rating system by the GBCI, the same credentialing body that administers LEED. These projects reported up to $6.5 million in savings and…  Continue Reading...

1 Aug 2018

Dallas’ new Multifamily Recycling Ordinance mandates recycling for apartment complexes  with 8 or more units by Jan. 2020. Over 90% of the city’s apartment complexes have at least 50 units. This means that the majority of Dallas  apartment building owners and…  Continue Reading...

1 Aug 2018

On July 26, 2018, the Metro Council, the regional governing body for Portland, voted to put a new commercial organics ordinance in place. Establishments that generate 1,000 pounds or more of organics per week must comply by March 2020 Generators…  Continue Reading...

16 Jul 2018

China Ban Summary:  A brief history: The China ban began in 2013 as the “Green Fence” policy, which stopped the flow of low quality recyclables at the Chinese border. This was followed in 2016 by their “National Sword” campaign, which continued…  Continue Reading...

27 Jun 2018

NYC Benchmarking updates: LL84 (2009) deadline approaching Earlier this year, we reported that due to a glitch in data provided by utilities, New York City pushed back the deadline for LL84 (2009) benchmarking data filing for 2017 from May 1 to December…  Continue Reading...

27 Jun 2018

Q: What is the estimated temperature difference between a standard and cool roof? Is it: a) 10 degrees F b) 30degrees F c) 50 degrees F WATCH the 18-sec VIDEO answer from Great Forest CEO Ross Guberman Q: If all…  Continue Reading...

27 Jun 2018

Congratulations to Great Forest President Richard Fuller on being awarded the prestigious  Order of Australia Medal for his service to conservation and the environment. It is a well-deserved recognition for his work with Pure Earth, the nonprofit he founded, the…  Continue Reading...

20 Jun 2018

July 2018 ENERGY STAR will be re-calculating almost all commercial building scores this summer, which will impact your properties’ standing.  All the changes in source data will result in lower scores generally across the US. ALL scores will adjust as of August…  Continue Reading...

25 May 2018

Hotel inspections are up in New York City. Violations are being issued for non-compliance. That is what we are hearing and seeing, following the expansion of regulations covering recycling and organics in the city. In some cases, such as with “persistent violators,” ballooning fines…  Continue Reading...

25 May 2018

Late last year, we received an email from one of our hotel clients that began: “FYI. The DSNY were here today.” Since the expansion of regulations covering commercial recycling and organics, the DSNY has been stepping up checks on hotels…  Continue Reading...

25 May 2018

“Businesses that respond appropriately can lead the way before they are forced to comply with bans and regulations. This is not only good for the environment, it is also good for business.” As reported in the New York Times, the…  Continue Reading...

23 May 2018

Q: Can I recycle plastic bags? A: This is a question we get asked very often.  From the bags you get with your shopping to the plastic bags, wrap and film that encase many of the items you buy. It is…  Continue Reading...

27 Apr 2018

April 2018–While New York mulls a ban on single-use plastic bags, San Francisco just took another step forward.  Now in the West Coast city, which already has a bag ban in place, it is possible to recycle plastic bags and other…  Continue Reading...

20 Mar 2018

Diversion initiatives such as recycling and composting mandates are popping up across the country as more and more local governments start to realize the value of zero waste. This is just the beginning. Once cities begin to ramp up their zero…  Continue Reading...

27 Feb 2018

Assess the efficiency of your waste and recycling program with just one look? Yes, it is possible. You can get an idea of what is happening by just glancing around you. Is your waste and recycling program optimized? Is it running…  Continue Reading...

22 Feb 2018

The future of office waste management is here, and it is simpler than you think. This white paper shows how you can optimize your waste and recycling program, and achieve multiple benefits, with one simple change — switching to a centralized…  Continue Reading...

18 Jan 2018

The Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps is a terrific program that places trained fellows on staff at businesses over the summer to help jump start clean energy projects. Great Forest worked with EDF fellows on two projects last year with…  Continue Reading...

10 Jan 2018

As we begin 2018, let’s look back on some highlights that made the news last year to see how it will affect your business this year.  Let’s continue doing great things together! 1) TRUE Zero Waste  In September 2017, the…  Continue Reading...

20 Dec 2017

Did you know a portion of Great Forest’s profits support cleanup work in some of the world’s worst polluted places?  We do this through the nonprofit Pure Earth, founded by Great Forest President Richard Fuller. And this year we joined…  Continue Reading...

20 Dec 2017

Did you know Americans throw out 25% more waste during the holidays? Think of all the packaging, gift wrap, food and more that end up in our waste bins. The Ohio EPA has some great infographics and tips on how to…  Continue Reading...

29 Nov 2017

Microgrants for food waste reduction DSNY’s Foundation for New York’s Strongest has launched a Microgrant program to help NYC businesses take action to address food waste. Grants are worth up to $15,000 in funding and technical support. Applications are due Jan. 8, 2018. Grants…  Continue Reading...

8 Nov 2017

How do you increase recycling and lower costs? By making recycling simple and convenient… at least that is the idea behind single-stream recycling’s popularity.  But the reality is more complicated. The number of communities and cities using single-stream recycling has reportedly increased from 20 to…  Continue Reading...

8 Nov 2017

First published Nov. 2017.   After a year of collaboration among architects and New York waste professionals (including Great Forest), AIANY/Center for Architecture has launched their Zero Waste Design Guidelines to encourage building design that facilitates recycling and waste diversion.…  Continue Reading...

8 Nov 2017

Education and learning is a big part of what we do at Great Forest. This is part of the formula for success at every business we work with. Recently, David Troust, Great Forest’s V.P. of business development, was part of…  Continue Reading...

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