Sustainability Guide

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Waste management has one of the most direct impacts on the environment and your business operations. The most effective way to reduce waste is to NOT create it in the first place.

Think REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. Benefits include:

  1. Reducing the amount of waste for disposal.
  2. Preventing pollution by reducing manufacturing, transportation, and the need to harvest raw materials.
  3. Saving energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.
  4. Cutting costs.

Below is a quick guide. Questions? email:


To maximize your impact, take advantage of your building’s recycling program. Remember, recycling not only conserves the earth’s resources, but helps to minimize our impact. Your building has a recycling program in place and provides assistance to help you comply with your obligation as a business to recycle under state and federal laws. Ask your Great Forest representative, building facility manager or sustainability officer for details and instructions on what to do.

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  • PAPER: Set double-sided printing as the default mode.  When buying printer paper, prioritize recycled content.
  • SERVICEWARE: Switch from disposable plates and cutlery to chinaware and metal cutlery to reduce the generation of single-use waste.
  • CUPS: Bring a travel mug for your coffee to minimize usage of paper cups.
  • BATTERIES: Implement a policy to only purchase rechargeable batteries for electronic devices.
  • DONATE: Sell or donate unwanted items instead of throwing them out. See Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills.

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In the U.S., as much as 3000 pounds of food is wasted every second. On average, organics comprise approximately 30% of the waste stream.

As organic material breaks down in the landfill, greenhouse gasses are released, contributing to climate change. By separating out these materials for processing, you can reduce the volume of trash filling up landfills, and additionally reduce associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Organic materials can be processed in a variety of ways, including:

  • Anaerobic digestion – the materials are broken down and gas is extracted to be used as a fuel source.
  • Composting – the materials are broken down at a composting facility to be made into garden fertilizer.
  • Aerobic digestion – microbes eat the material in an onsite vessel, turning the contents to liquid.

Materials accepted within the organics stream generally include all food waste and compostable cutlery and dining ware, with some exceptions regarding meat and bones. Your waste hauler will be able to provide more specific information on accepted contents.

Great Forest has capacity to track all waste metrics, including monthly tonnages of all waste streams. If you choose to implement an organics diversion program, all corresponding data will be available to you to track your progress over time, and for all reporting purposes.

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Why flatten cardboard?

What type of paper can you recycle?

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