Business compost goes to a different processing facility and has different guidelines than your home green bin compost.Read More…
Nossa Familia Coffee is encouraging customers to reduce waste by choosing reusable coffee cups.
Gold certified Nossa Familia Coffee, a local roaster with three Portland cafes, takes sustainability seriously. They’ve looked for ways to make each step of the coffee growing, roasting, and serving process more sustainable, including energy-efficient roasting, purchasing 100% renewable energy, and reducing packaging wherever possible.
Earlier this year, they tackled disposable coffee cup waste, encouraging customers to use washable, reusable mugs rather than throw-away cups. Here’s how they did it:
On Earth Day 2019, they changed their pricing based on the type of cup customers choose:
They implemented this change at all three of their cafes after a test run at their SE Division cafe showed a substantial increase in the number of customers choosing “for here” cups or bringing their own mugs for coffee to go.
They've also set up a cup “lending library,” where customers who forgot a travel mug can grab a clean mug, and people who have extra mugs can donate them for others to use.
Reducing disposable coffee cups is part of Nossa Familia's larger sustainability program. Learn more about their efforts to reduce waste and their environmental footprint company-wide at www.nossacoffee.com/sustainability.
If your office provides disposable cups, dishware or utensils, set up reusable dishware in your kitchen or break room. If you don’t have funds to buy mugs, host an ugly mug contest, encouraging people to bring in old mugs from home or from thrift shops.
Do staff go out for coffee a lot? Set up travel mugs by the door so they’re hard to miss and easy to grab.
Did you know that Portland has free lending libraries for home and garden tools and cooking tools? You can also swap kids' toys in Woodlawn and St. Johns. Or check-out all sorts of things at the Library of Things in Beaverton or Hillsboro.
Plastic bags, rope, cords and clothing all wreak havoc at the recycling facility.
Plastic bags, rope, electrical cords, string lights and clothing are all examples of “tanglers” – long or stretchy items that get tangled up in the gears of the machinery that sorts recyclables.
When plastic bags and other items get tangled in the machinery, staff must cut them off the gears, one-by-one. This is dangerous for staff and shuts down the entire facility, making it slower and more expensive to sort recyclables and get them ready for the next leg in their journey to becoming new products.
This one-and-a-half-minute video shows what happens when tanglers go into recycling:
Thanks to Baltimore County Department of Public Works for the 'Tangled Up!' video.
Follow Portland’s recycling guidelines, which don’t allow plastic bags, rope, cords, or clothing. Label your workplace recycling bins with free posters so coworkers know what can, and cannot, go into recycling.
There are often drop-off options for recycling or donating plastic bags, electrical cords and string lights, and clothing. Use Metro’s Find a Recycler website or call their hotline at 503-234-3000. Metro's hotline is staffed six days a week and they can tell you the closest drop-off locations to your home or work.
If there aren’t any recycling options, or you aren’t able to drop them off for recycling or donation, they should go in the trash.
Thank you for recycling right!
Set up free bike racks and promote your bike friendly offerings.
The sun’s out and so are the cyclists! Here are some ways you can bring more bike riders to your business.
Bike racks attract riders’ attention. Even if their destination is further down the street, if you’ve got the parking spot, they’ll spend a few moments in front of your business both when they arrive and when they leave.
You can also get creative and have a custom art rack created that accentuates your business. We’ve seen all kinds of great custom racks around town: giant eyeglasses, a pink doughnut, a Fremont Bridge replica, and an enormous baking whisk.
If you run a retail store, restaurant, coffee shop or bar, show that you welcome bicyclists through Travel Portland’s Bike Friendly Business program.
The program is free, and the signs to post in front of your business start at only $26. Check it out.
From dentists to physical therapists, we’ve see Portland businesses offer discounts for customers who arrive by bike. Even a small perk can get a customer’s attention and build loyalty to your business.
Businesses from Portland and surrounding areas gathered to discuss workplace sustainability on February 27, 2019.
Businesses from around the Portland metro area gathered to discuss workplace sustainability challenges and successes on February 27, 2019.
Widmer Brothers Brewing shared their success in reducing plastic straws:
Crave Catering explained the many ways they prevent food waste:
Laughing Planet shared how small changes have reduced waste and cut costs:
Delta AV and The Partner's Group offered tips for workplace sustainability efforts:
We asked attendees to share the best ideas they'd heard in conversations throughout the event, and here's what they shared:
The Oregon Convention Center has many award-winning sustainability efforts including:
Water (frozen at the time of photo!) flows into one of Oregon Convention Center's large rain gardens.
Recycling signs show examples of items that can go in recycling.
Read more about the event in an article from the Gresham Outlook.
Get help with your workplace sustainability efforts: Contact us at 503-823-7037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out which plastics can go in your recycling bin, and which can’t.
You’re holding a plastic cup, hovering over the recycling bin, but doubting yourself. Does it go in recycling? Or maybe trash?
Plastics are especially confusing when it comes to recycling. Here’s a run-down of what goes where and why:
Sometimes it’s because the items are too small (like lids), making them too hard to sort out from paper, cardboard and other recyclables.
Other times it’s because the global market for a particular type of plastic changes too frequently. Recycling only works if it makes financial sense for companies to buy the used plastics to turn into new plastics.
Ignore the numbers. The numbers on the bottom of plastics are used by manufacturers to mark what the product is made of. They are not indicators of whether or not a plastic item is recyclable in Portland.
It's about size and shape. The allowed plastics – bottles, tubs, buckets and jugs – are the right shapes to get successfully sorted, and they’re the types of plastic that recycling companies want to buy.
Never put plastics labeled “compostable” or “biodegradable” into any recycling container. These “plastics” are made to break down quickly and will contaminate the plastics recycling process and reduce the quality of goods produced from the recycled materials. (Also never put them in compost, at home or at work. They should go in the trash.)
Order free posters for your workplace that show what goes into recycling, compost and trash.