Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Would you like to do more to green your business but you don’t know how? Are you an employee of a business that you think can and should be greener in its every-day practices but you’re not sure how to entice your boss to “go green”? Well, there’s a program in Jackson Hole that can help ease you down this path.

The local Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Campaign—RRR for short—was begun in 2004 by Jackson Community Recycling, Teton Sustainability Project of the Murie Center, and Habitat for Humanity’s Jackson Hole ReStore as a way to help local businesses develop sustainable practices. Along the way, they’ve also developed a marketing program to help businesses get the word out to their customers and potential customers that they strive to be an environmentally sustainable business. It’s a program that has garnered a bit of attention locally and brought a lot of businesses into the fold (fifty-six business at last count, according to their Web site).

According to the site,

Since 2004 it has taken the form of a multi-year advertising campaign, and more recently it has developed a local green business certification program.

Through the “green business certification program,” RRR is working to bring even more businesses into the green fold.

RRR Business Leaders is an ongoing project and intended to provide resources for local businesses to become more environmentally friendly while contributing to their economic success. In addition to helping the environment, RRR Business Leaders is an opportunity to show the community and be proud of your efforts.

Whether businesses throughout the country are being successful with these green endeavors is still up for debate (see Business Week’s “Little Green Lies” story from October 29), but theirs no doubt the general public continues to vote their conscience with their wallets. And businesses are quick to grab onto the emotional heartstrings of their customers.

But that’s no reason to simply greenwash your customers. Most are savvy enough to sniff out BS from pretty far away. That said, it behooves all of us to do what we can to decrease our impact on the environment, and businesses are no exception.

While I’m waiting on more correspondence with Jackson Hole Community Recycling about the RRR Business Leaders program (for a later post), I thought I’d at least introduce this topic and take a moment to lead you to some great resources available on their site. If you or your business is interested in joining this program, I recommend (and I’m sure they would, too) utilizing these resources to make sure you qualify before you dive in. And even if you’re not a Jackson-based business, you can still take advantage of many of these resources.

From their home page, the main navigation makes it easy to figure out what to do in each of the three “R” categories. “How can I recycle?”, “How can I reduce?”, and “How can I reuse?” all take you to pages with very informative lists of ways to start making a difference. (My one suggestion, though, is that these should probably be reordered to make “reduce” the first link.) While I won’t go into detail about each of these lists, worth mentioning is the common piece of information on each of these pages: “Create an environmental ethic.” This is sage advice, especially since in a business environment employees will have varying degrees of commitment to the environment. It doesn’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) be preachy, but it helps to begin with some kind of written expectation for the workplace that will help everyone get on the same page.

Be sure to check it out to see what you can be doing and perhaps even what you’re doing already. And be sure to check back for more specific information from the Jackson Hole Community Recycling.