Sustainability101 Blog

16 Jun 2021

Businesses across the country are starting to see their offices return to capacity as workers return full-time or on a hybrid schedule. Restarting right not only means making sure everything is in order, in working condition, and functioning at maximum…  Continue Reading...

27 May 2021

Just as occupancy is rising in office buildings, the waste industry, like the restaurant industry, is dealing with hiring challenges.  As a result, we are seeing services being delayed across the country as haulers struggle to expand routes and provide…  Continue Reading...

5 May 2021

We are proud to announce that Great Forest. Inc. has been TRUE certified to the Gold level for our Zero Waste efforts, with a diversion rate of 91.3%! This GBCI (Green Business Certification Inc.) certification signifies Great Forest’s continued commitment…  Continue Reading...

5 May 2021

You may already know how much waste your facility generates and how much is being diverted from landfill. That is crucial waste data you need. But now what? Is your building in legal compliance? How do you bring your program…  Continue Reading...

9 Apr 2021

Great Forest has joined the EPA’s WasteWise program as an active participant. WasteWise encourages organizations and businesses to achieve sustainability in their practices and reduce waste. It is part of EPA’s sustainable materials management efforts. As a participant, Great Forest…  Continue Reading...

31 Mar 2021

In November 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a national goal of increasing the U.S. recycling rate to 50% by 2030. As part of this process, Great Forest submitted comments to the EPA on recycling rate measurement methodology, drawing…  Continue Reading...

29 Mar 2021

THANK YOU to the 100+ people who spent part of their Earth Day with us at our webinar and Q&A. We learned so much together about how COVID-19 has impacted your waste management programs and policies, and what your successes…  Continue Reading...

5 Mar 2021

By now, many Great Forest clients would have received their annual waste report with data and details about their sustainable waste management performance over the past year. Here are 3 things every business should look out for in their reports,…  Continue Reading...

27 Jan 2021

What does the future hold? If you have a plan, you can conquer whatever comes your way. Here’s a checklist to help you achieve all your 2021 sustainable waste management goals. #1 Study Your Data Look at your data from…  Continue Reading...

25 Nov 2020

Did you know: Landfill and waste services account for 30% of the commercial sector’s GHG emissions?  Waste is the next BIG frontier in fighting carbon emissions, but many property managers and building owners are missing this significant opportunity to reduce their building’s carbon footprint by…  Continue Reading...

25 Nov 2020

Once a building empties out for the night, cleaning staff move in to begin their work transporting waste to central collection points. Many people do not see cleaning staff at work but what they do is essential. Because cleaning staff are often…  Continue Reading...

16 Sep 2020

In order to reap the many benefits of recycling, you must succeed in recycling. Here’s how to win in recycling, in 3 steps: #1 Reduce Contamination, Maintain Value When items like liquids, non-recyclable materials, and soiled recyclables are placed in recycling…  Continue Reading...

25 Aug 2020

Great Forest has returned to performing comprehensive waste audits by planning carefully and safely. Our first waste audit since March, and the first of the COVID-19 era, was conducted in July at the Folsom Corporate Center in Northern California, supporting…  Continue Reading...

5 Aug 2020

Even though much of the way we do business has changed since the onset of COVID-19, our zero waste and sustainability goals have not changed. No matter what business you’re in, here’s what you should continue to focus on, and…  Continue Reading...

29 Jul 2020

Construction, demolition and renovation projects are resuming around the country, and so is the flow of construction and demolition (C&D) waste. With many commercial office spaces still under capacity and regular business operations restricted, C&D waste may currently be a businesses’ largest…  Continue Reading...

24 Jun 2020

“Every business that is reopening should conduct a waste audit to determine how their waste has changed, not only in the type of materials being collected, but also how they are being discarded. Workers have been away for some time…  Continue Reading...

17 Jun 2020

Download the FMJ article In its latest issue, FMJ magazine worked with Great Forest to offer a deep dive into waste audits. The report, Getting to the Bottom of Waste,  uses data and case studies pulled from hundreds of Great Forest waste audit investigations conducted…  Continue Reading...

17 Jun 2020

After delays, New York State’s Bag Waste Reduction Law is now being enforced.  Violations will be met with civil penalties imposed under New York State law. Any  retailer that is required to collect New York State sales tax will no longer…  Continue Reading...

20 May 2020

While recycling has slowed down during this COVID-19 health crisis, it is actually more integral than ever as many supply chains across the country depend on recycled materials. Toilet paper manufacturers, for example, rely on a supply of recycled office paper. This…  Continue Reading...

13 May 2020

As businesses reopen or prepare to reopen offices, buildings, and retail outlets, they need to also prepare to address the influx of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) waste and plan for safe PPE disposal. By now, many of you would have seen photos of…  Continue Reading...

22 Apr 2020

Updated March 2021 In 1970, 20 million people took to the streets for the very first Earth Day. Today, over 50 years later, the earth still needs our support, perhaps even more than ever.  We have less time to deal…  Continue Reading...

13 Apr 2020

THANK YOU for joining us for our Earth Action Day webinar on April 24, 2020, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, and to learn how to take climate action at home, even as we quarantine to beat COVID-19.…  Continue Reading...

1 Apr 2020

CHALLENGES Businesses everywhere are adjusting to the ongoing crisis. The challenge to managing waste during coronavirus is to maintain gains made in waste reduction, diversion and sustainability, while taking advantage of opportunities. If this is done right, businesses will prevent a backward…  Continue Reading...

23 Mar 2020

As we all grapple with the new reality brought on by the covid-19 pandemic, we pledge to be here to help you adjust to the new challenges we all face — as individuals, communities, and businesses. We will get through…  Continue Reading...

17 Feb 2020

Plastic Bag Bans Starting March 1, 2020, New York State’s ban on single-use plastic bags goes into effect. To date, eight states have such a ban. New York joins California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon and Vermont. In addition to…  Continue Reading...

22 Jan 2020

As we enter a new year and decade, it may be time to ask if your corporate values align with people and the planet. The landscape for doing business is changing and corporate culture is just beginning to catch up.…  Continue Reading...

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…  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 tells industry news source Waste Dive that businesses…  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...

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