Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Ream the Competition
Businesses that seek out ways to reuse and recycle products and cut their emissions save money, in addition to helping save the environment, according to a new economic study conducted in the Pacific Northwest. Over the last seven years, 137 Northwest businesses polled saved a total of $42 million by reusing and recycling items. The study authors contend that environmental regulations — such as those prompted by recent endangered species listings for Northwest salmon — push businesses to use resources more efficiently, in ways that are both environmentally and economically sound. The study found that small businesses like auto shops can save money by reusing materials, and large companies like Boeing can save hundreds of thousands of dollars by cutting their energy use. The study was conducted by the nonprofit Center for Watershed and Community Health and economists at Puget Sound University and Lewis and Clark College.