How Our COO Keeps The Warehouse Green

Posted by BOXFOX TEAM on

Meet our COO, environmental enthusiast, and active planet protector, Jenni! She’s our resident green-girl and works super hard to make sure we’re all doing our part to keep BOXFOX eco-friendly. Jenni also puts in major effort to educate our staff and make sure we’re all environmentally conscious. Let’s hear what she has to say about her ‘going green’ experience!

1. In almost any warehouse there’s inevitably going to be boxes, plastic, and trash; What are some steps you take to reduce waste (from shipments, etc.) in the warehouse? 

Inevitable is right, unfortunately. But there are so many ways we can help reduce waste through simple practices of recycling, up cycling, & a little creative thinking. 

We have recycling bins everywhere around BOXFOX. We use them at our desks for paper, mail, & empty cans of la criox. In terms of fulfillment, we’ve set up our own systems that work with our flow. 

For example, cardboard boxes are piled up throughout the day by our front door. We’ve built up a beautiful relationship with a neighboring center for people with special needs. They run a recycling program & all proceeds go right back to their center. Luckily for both of us, we have an endless amount of cardboard boxes. It’s a win-win-win & I think it’s a true testament to the sense of community we feel here in El Segundo. 

Besides cardboard, there is so much that can still be recycled! We reuse packaging paper and bubble wrap from inbound product for bigger bulk shipments. Anything that we can’t up-cyle, we’ll take to the recycling center two blocks away, making sure that we’re separating out any garbage and non-recycables. 

Here’s a list of a few other ways we keep the warehouse green: 

The crinkle in our boxes is biodegradable and compostable - a great “brown” for anyone who composts 

We ship our boxes in corrugated cardboard and brown shipping paper that are both 100% recyclable and compostable 

The natural light in the warehouse is amazing, so we reduce energy consumption by keeping the lights off  

The kitchen & break room are stocked with plates, bowls, mugs, cups and silverware rather than paper plates and plastic cutlery 

We just recently upgraded to a bamboo dish scrubber in our kitchen sink 

All of our cleaning products are non-hazardous and eco-friendly

We dry with hand and dishtowels in the kitchen and bathroom, as opposed to paper towels

We buy bulk toilet paper wrapped in paper, not packaged in plastic, that is made from recycled materials 

The warehouse is filled with plants to help improve air quality. We try and water them with any half-full water bottles we have around! 

We print on recycled office paper 

We send in used ink cartridges from our printers to be responsibly recycled 

We send in our used Nespresso pods for recycling and composting 

We opt to pick-up LA based Compartes and Sugarfina via Postmates, significantly reducing the amount of packaging and ice packs necessary to ship heat-sensitive chocolate and gummies 

The warehouse is full of up-cycled Voluspa candles that we’ve burned through and now use as vases, and even for our sugar and creamer storage in the break room

2. What are your top 3 small, yet impactful, ways you stay green in your day-to-day routine?

Easy! 

1. Drinking from a reusable water bottle is one of the simplest ways we can all be more green. I love my bkr! 

2. I carry bamboo utensils and a stainless steel straw in my purse so that I can avoid these single-use plastics when I’m out and about. 

3. I think most people know by now to use their reusable shopping bags at checkout, but another great way to eliminate plastics is to use reusable produce bags! I have a bunch from Earthwise that are great because cashiers can still easily scan barcodes though the mesh. 

3. What would you suggest as the first step for companies to take who want to make the transition and ‘go green’?

A powerful first step for anyone, and particularly a business, is to become well versed in local recycling policies. I think most people would be surprised at how much can actually be recycled versus thrown in the trash, but there are differences in different regions. Once you have an grasp on what you can recycle locally, there are so many online resources you can tap into to continue your recycling crusade. I recommend scrolling through terracycle.com to discover free and easy ways to send in your lightbulbs, ink, batteries, cleaning products, wrappers, you name it! 

4. What are some of the ways you educate your coworkers on how they can be more ‘green’ in their daily lives and around the office?

I’m really passionate about protecting our environment and I always want that to be reflected in the way we run our business. I’ve lead many recycling meetings with the team to make sure everyone’s well-versed. In fact, a field trip to the recycling center is part of the on-boarding training for every employee. 

I think one easy way I’ve been able to spread awareness with the team is actually prompted through instagram. Sitting together at lunch scrolling through my feed, if I see something interesting from @plasticfreemermaid, @trashisfortossers, or @grumpyturtledesign, I’ll show the girls too. I’m sure everyone on the team has heard me singing praises about the Australian #OperationStraw!  

I can tell that some of my green has rubbed off at BOXFOX and I love it! It makes me beam with pride to see the team using our silverware at lunch or bringing iced green teas back from Starbucks without plastic straws. Little actions like these add up to create healthy habits. 

5. What has been your proudest ‘green moment’? (ie. an eco-friendly transition made in the office, a lesson you learned or taught about going green, etc.) 

Rather than one major moment, I think it’s more about many consistent actions repeated over time.  I take pride in every piece of trash I pick up on the beach, every time I use my bamboo utensils, and every time the team loads up the cars for a trip to the recycling center. 

I wrote a longer list on ways to reduce waste and plastics for friends and family in the past. Since we’re on the subject, I thought I’d include a few extra tips here! 

R E D U C I N G   W A S T E   &   P L A S T I C S  

LIFESTYLE //  

Say no to plastic water bottles or beverages. Buy a glass or stainless steel reusable water bottle (I just got a hydroflask and it’s awesome for hot or cold beverages!) 

Plastic straws are all over our beaches. Opt for stainless steel straws that are dishwasher friendly at home, or say no thank you to straws and lids at restaurants and cafes. 

Adios plastic utensils. You can even carry around your own lightweight bamboo set so you’re always prepared when you’re on the go. 

Pick up trash when you see it. Or better yet, make a point up picking up X pieces of trash everyday. Up to you! 

Use the library and share/borrow books you purchase. Audio and e-books are really eco-friendly in that sense too. 

Composting can make such a substantial difference in reducing your waste! You Grow Girl has a simple guide on urban composting that makes it easy for anyone with limited space to get started. 

Check out teracycle.com to help reshape your perception of what can & can’t be recycled! 

SHOPPING // 

 • Bring bags everywhere you go! And always make sure you have reusable mesh produce bags for trips to the grocery store. 

When you’re shopping or at the market, making the choice to buy olives from a jar over olives in plastic is huge. Unfortunately, plastic will almost always be less expensive, but if you can flex your purchasing power, you can help make a difference. 

Take your own mug or thermos to Starbucks. Or better yet, brew your own coffee with a reusable or biodegradable coffee filter. If you’re going to use a Keurig, make sure you’re using recyclable cups. 

Buy local as much as possible, and take trips to the Farmer’s market! This is huge because you can help reduce processing, packaging, and most importantly, the shipping of goods across the country and world. 

Bulk, bulk, bulk.t’s a lot easier for families to share bulk products than individuals, but maybe you can get your roommates or SO on board. Keep in mind, you can still control portions while shopping in the bulk bins. 

BATHROOM //  

Use a bamboo toothbrush. Just as effective and biodegradable! 

Elevate your bathroom with a biodegradable sea sponge in replacement of your loofah. A good ole fashioned wash cloth works great too! 

Buy a metal razor. Exact same thing, just not plastic. 

Invest in a soap dispenser that you can refill with bulk soap. Buying bulk is still so much better than buying a new plastic soap every single time. Plus, it’s a better bargain in the long run. Win-win.

Make your own surface cleaners with vinegar, alcohol, and essential oil combos. Cleaning Essentials bottles are amazing because they’re glass and they have different formulas on the sides of the bottles. They’re really pretty too. 

Reusable makeup removing wipes are awesome, but they do seem to absorb more product. Another great option is to buy organic cotton balls in bulk.

Buy toilet paper wrapped in recycled paper as opposed to plastic wrapped options. So simple! 

Bars of soap often come in boxes or paper wrap. These are a great alternative to liquid body or hand wash packaged in plastic

Just like hand soap, buying bulk shampoo and conditioner is better than nothing! 

Opt for non-plastic storage solutions to keep toiletries organized in bathroom drawers and cupboards.  I have some bamboo drawer organizers that work wonderfully.

Do you have a plastic wastebasket? Swap it out for a cute brushed iron or woven trash can. 

KITCHEN // 

Opt for bamboo dish scrubbers and fiber scrubbing pads over plastic ones. They’re really cute too. 

Invest in a soap dispenser that you can refill with bulk soap. Buying bulk is still so much better than buying a new plastic soap every single time. Plus, it’s a better bargain in the long run. Win-win. 

Retrain yourself to grab for dishcloths and hand towels instead of a wad of paper towels to wipe down surfaces and dry dishes. 

Along the same lines, repurpose old washcloths and dishtowels as rags for cleaning all over the house! This is also going to save you from spending $ on so many paper towels. When you do buy paper towels, buy eco-friendly ones!

When it comes to food storage, try and stay away from ziploc bags as much as possible. Stasher bags are a great alternative that are freezer, microwave, oven, and dishwasher friendly.  Alternatively, opting for mason jars, pyrex, and even plastic Tupperware for food storage is better than a one-and-done ziploc. 

Trade in your plastic broom for a bamboo or wooden one. The dustpan too!

Up-cycle glass jars from your groceries or beverages to use for food storage, bulk pantry storage, glasses, vases, or even for tea lights. Make a paste of one part baking soda + one part oil to remove any adhesive residue.

 

    ← Older Post Newer Post →