ByWater Solutions Celebrates Earth Day
Happy Earth Day!
ByWater Solutions has been fully remote since 2009. This has allowed not only our overhead costs to remain low, but for our environmental footprint to remain low as well!
Staff working remotely commute less and use less fossil fuels. Staff also report less need for on-the-go meals and drinks; reducing food and plastic waste since they are steps away from their kitchen and coffee makers.
In terms of office supplies and paper, we are virtually paper free. For contracts and RFPs requiring documents to be shipped, we use recycled paper and mailers whenever possible.
Our motto is definitely progress over perfection, but we strive to make a conscious effort to reduce waste where we can.
We asked our staff to share some ways they stayed sustainable in their day-to-day lives. Here is what they said!
Ways ByWater Staff Stay Sustainable:
- Installed solar panels and have zero electric bill and actually give power back to the grid
- We live in the desert, so we always stay conscious of our water consumption. Strategies include not running the tap as much, reducing the amount of watering outside, and letting our grass go dormant in the summer.
- Use reusable bags- even made some reusable bags!
- Drive a hybrid vehicle to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and reduce our emissions.
- Always try to buy products packaged in paper rather than plastic (such as dish washing powder vs dish washing gel)
- Look for other ways to reduce waste, like wrapping presents in cloth bags or old book pages instead of buying rolls of wrapping paper.
- We are currently starting our garden for the year- we love showing the kids how to grow our own vegetables, shop locally and seasonally!
- Recycle, plant a garden, and send our green waste to the community composting collective.
- Reuse interesting containers for plants. An old dresser was repurposed into a box garden, with the drawers making more gardens. We have plants growing out of logs, cold coffee cups, and shoes. I use waste from the sewing room to tie up my plants, like hems from chopped up t-shirts, or scraps of yarn.
- Use refillable water bottles, instead of buying plastic bottles
- Use reusable containers for lunches and leftovers instead of plastic bags
- Reduced the amount of grass we have and xeriscaped our yard and installed a drip system. We laid down a LOT of rock and planted cactus and other plants native to the area.
- Growing a big ol' vegetable garden
- Reuse leftovers and repurpose them into new meals to reduce food waste
- Have rain barrels to reuse rainwater for watering our plants and lawn
- One car household for over 30 years
- Shop the weekend farmer's market and try to buy as many local and in season foods as possible
- Shop at thrift stores for clothing and home items
- Donate old towels and sheets to the Humane Society
- Mend clothes that can be repaired
- Live in a town that is walkable- so instead of driving to the library to do curbside pickup, we walk or bike.
- Limit how much meat we eat/buy
- Avoid the shipping carbon footprint by buying local wherever possible
- Don't use paper towels - we enjoy our meals with cloth napkins and wipe up spills with rags
- Subscribe to Ridwell which takes things that normal recycling doesn't take - like styrofoam and batteries
- Live in places like Vermont and Portland where composting and recycling infrastructure is well set-up
- For those who paint using acrylic: Use cadmium-free paints or something that contains less or no metal at all. Dispose of the paints responsibly--no paints down the drain or in the trash! When I have enough paint to dispose of, I go to the hazardous waste drop off; these sites typically don't charge you. Consequently, I re-use my painting tape until they no longer stick, and I avoid using paper towels but instead have a handful of discarded clothing to wipe off excess paint in my brushes, palette, and palette knives.
- GO TO THE LIBRARY!!!! Libraries are very "green" because instead of buying new we share with others!
Read more by Kalleen Marquise