01209 314 949

January 2020

5 ways your business can be more eco-friendly

 by emilyf on 22 Jan 2020 |
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Small steps towards becoming more eco-friendly can be easy to integrate into your workday. The smaller changes contribute to the overall impact. Since the majority of our adult lives are spent working, it’s worth investing into our future and comfort in the work environment. Here are some ideas of how you can be more sustainable in the workplace. 1. Unplug what you aren’t using A majority of office workers leave their electrical equipment plugged in or even switched on whilst they aren’t being used. Most people don’t realise that whilst devices are plugged in, phantom energy is constantly being drawn through the socket. Laptops and computers are one of the biggest offenders drawing an average of 9 - 44 watts in ‘off’ mode (44 watts is the equivalent of powering an LED light bulb for 24 hours). Simply by unplugging your computer, desk lamp and other electrical devices, you will stop the phantom energy from flowing. An alternative to unplugging is using extension cables; most cables do not use any energy when they are switched off at the socket. Saving energy on your equipment also prolongs the lifespan, meaning you won’t be replacing expensive bits of kit as often. 2. Use eco-friendly products Conventional cleaning products contain toxic substances which could be harmful to the environment. A vast majority of us are using cleaning products without thinking about the effects they may be having on - not only our planet - but our health. On the back of most cleaning products, you will find warning labels which explain that the product has the potential of being harmful (most of the time, to marine life). Toxins to look out for include; Phthalates, Perchloroethylene or “PERC”, Triclosan (Experience Life - 8 hidden toxins). Be more conscious when you replenish your cleaning products. Buy biodegradable cleaning equipment as most of the packaging is recyclable or biodegradable, in turn, this will reduce your business contribution to landfill. Refill your bottles rather than buying new plastic bottles. Products which are eco-friendly to both body and planet include: Method - naturally derived, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging. Ecover - smart green science, cruelty-free, recyclable packaging. Ecover also offer a refill point for their soaps, find your local by following this link: https://www.ecover.com/store-locator/   3. Recycle/Reuse Most businesses are pretty savvy with their recycling but there are multiple ways to improve your recycling which may not have crossed your mind.    Not all plastic is recyclable - hard plastics are not recyclable, such as toys, washing baskets and buckets. Bubble wrap and polystyrene cannot be recycled, these can, however, be reused. At Tiny Box, we use all external bubble wrap that comes through from the post to protect our customer printing plates. All items put into recycling must be clean and dry. Plastic bottles must be rinsed and squashed. Glass jars can also be rinsed with the lids put back on.  Paper and card must not have any tape - most wrapping papers cannot be recycled due to their decorations or finishes. Some businesses accept cardboard from other companies to shred and use as protection for packing their products. At Tiny Box, we use our ‘cookie monster’ shredder which crinkles and cuts any cardboard not being used, we then use this to pack and protect the boxes we send out to our customers. ​Make sure any new employees starting with the company are aware of your recycling procedures.  4. ​Compost Food waste entering general waste bins are taken to landfill and produce methane emissions as it decomposes without oxygen. Composting reduces the impact and puts the waste product to use by creating a natural fertiliser. Install a composting system in your office and add a vegetable garden to your space - wait for the satisfying feeling of knowing you are helping our planet. 5. Cut out plastic Plastic is a huge problem for our oceans and sealife. By 2050, it’s estimated that there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Unfortunately, it’s everywhere and even the production of plastic is extremely damaging to the environment.  Why not encourage your employees to take part in a beach clean for an afternoon? Allow them to see the scale of the problem. Plastic will continue to be produced whilst there is still a demand for it. As consumers and some businesses out there as producers, we need to consciously reduce the amount of plastic we buy. Consider whether there are eco-friendly alternatives to the packaging you use in your company. In house, we have switched to offering our visitors cans of water which are fully recyclable, rather than bottles of water which are harder to dispose of.     What could you do to help save our environment? Share this blog to help raise awareness.

Case Study: The Bowes Museum

 by emilyf on 15 Jan 2020 |
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The Bowes Centre / The Bowes Museum What service does your company provide? The Bowes Museum is a hidden treasure, a jewel in the heart of beautiful Teesdale. Built in the 19th century by John and Joséphine Bowes, the Museum has a wonderful story to tell. Whether it is paintings by Canaletto or Goya, porcelain produced at Sèvres, or marquetry attributed to André-Charles Boulle it can all be found at The Bowes Museum. Why did you need a bespoke box made? The Bowes Museum ran a crowdfunding campaign that rewarded supporters with a wooden hand turned bowl made from an important and historic tree originally planted by our founders in 1871.   The bowls are a result of a year-long project to generate a legacy from the Monkey Puzzle Tree planted by John and Joséphine Bowes in 1871. The tree was a favourite of John and Joséphine Bowes and is an important part of the Museum’s material heritage.  John and Joséphine paid particular attention to selecting and transporting the tree, bringing it by railway from the respected nursery of Lane and Sons, Berkhamsted.   The bowls represent almost 150 years of Bowes history. It is rare that a Museum de-acquires its cultural property, but an organic asset of this size is simply too large to keep!  At the same time the tree was felt to be too important to discard entirely, so the bowls, made possible by the generosity of the 133 backers of the Crowdfunding appeal, will continue to honour its longevity and its relationship to the Museum’s Founders.   Coinciding with the death of the tree was the 125th Anniversary of the opening of the Museum, and the foundation of The Bowes Centre for Art, Craft and Design.  The Centre proposed the legacy project, to commission local and regional craftspeople to make 125 commemorative bowls, together with other crowdfunding rewards ranging from keyrings to bowls with a Sterling Silver medallion.  The resulting bowls are full of character.  Each is individually handmade, and we hope provides many years of pleasure.   What design options did you consider? We wanted the design to mirror the product, with work progressing on the castings and bowls, we turned our attention to the packaging. A green colour theme was chosen to represent the leaves of the Monkey Puzzle Tree for the bronze bowls, with the bronze medallion replicated on the box lid.   What design aspects were important for you? We wanted a no-plastic look with a quality finish. It was really important for the packaging to have the same link to the product inside.   How important was it for you to have a bespoke design, and why? It was very important. We wanted the product and packaging to match. It was extremely important to have the legacy project to commemorate the 125 year anniversary of the museum and the heritage of the monkey puzzle tree.   Are there any tips you would give to another company wanting bespoke options? Allow time for your project and getting your design exactly how you would like it.    

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