8 Tips on Being a More Eco-friendly Business in Aruba
Going green isn’t just in style, it’s becoming a staple variable when it comes to doing business, and Aruba is no exception.
Truth is, with industries being so flooded with options (aka many businesses to choose from), many consumers are doing their research to see what kind of Eco-friendly values businesses have prior to flashing those dollar, or florin, bills.
According to this read by Entrepreneur, sustainable products seem to be preferred by consumers versus non-sustainable products from the same company. From the business-to-business (B2B) perspective, it mentions that “brands advertising environmental sustainability can claim greater retail shelf placement because of increasing demand. — Better shelf placement generally means better sales.”
Furthermore, the article also implies that “customers want sustainable products from sustainable companies. This includes everything from labor practices to the environmental impact of their production.”
Aside from the research regarding sustainable businesses which proves its economic benefits, being a more Eco-friendly business, simply put, is positive for the environment.
Before we share our tips with you, check out Aruba’s green efforts fact list* below:
- On January 1st, 2017 single-use plastic bags were officially banned from Aruba
- As of January 2019, it is not allowed to import, produce, and/or sell single-use plastic products
- Aruba’s government issued a full ban on all Styrofoam use by 2020
- A full ban on reef-harming sunscreens that contain oxybenzone will also go into play by 2020
Now that you know why going green is essential for the future of your business, keep scrolling to reveal our 8 tips on being a more Eco-friendly business in Aruba!
1. Invest in SMART, Hybrid or Electric Company Cars
If your business makes use of company cars, or you’re thinking about implementing company cars for your organization, than why not go green? There are many options available for more environmentally friendly rides. Some of which include hybrid and electric vehicles, and the renowned-for-being-Eco-friendly, Smart cars.
This isn’t an unheard of trend on the island, as there are a few Aruba-based businesses that are already making use of greener company cars. Who you may ask? Well, two examples would be ASD Aruba’s electric vehicles, and restaurant delivery company, Food-aw, that uses a branded Smart car for their deliveries.
Thanks to ELMAR, Aruba’s official electrical utility company, there are now various charging stations accessible around the island.
2. Make Recycling Accessible at the Office
Although Aruba doesn’t have any official government-implemented recycling system, there are organizations on the island that provide opportunities to recycle. Three organizations giving hope to larger-scale waste reduction and recycling on the island are Plastic Beach Party, EcoTech Aruba and EcoGas Free Zone N.V.
Plastic Beach Party – Crowd-sourced Recycling
- Main objective: “We are an open, community-driven recycling initiative, working to reduce waste and give plastic a new life.” – Plastic Beach Party
- Products accepted: Plastics
Plastic Beach Party, led by Christie Mettes, has collaborated with numerous businesses and organizations to kick start, or enhance, their recycling efforts. Some of these include, but are not limited to: De Palm Tours Aruba, Marriott Aruba Surf Club and the University of Aruba.
They work closely with Brenchie’s Lab to give the recycled plastics new life. From making trash cans, to key chains, to benches, this organization continuously researches possibilities to create new products out of recycled plastic materials.
Plastic Beach Party offers various options when it comes to recycling services. The ones that are more notable for businesses, when it comes to time efficiency, are their ‘Full Service’ and ‘Drop-off’ services. Both of these include cleaning, preparing, cutting, shredding, melting, and molding the recycled plastics.
They also offer a ‘Company Scanning’ service where they analyze your organization’s plastic usage behavior and help you identify opportunities for improvement.
EcoTech Aruba & EcoGas Free Zone N.V.
- Main objectives:
- “To offer high-quality service in an effective and efficient way to fulfill the demand of the customers [with regards to waste management]. [As well as] to create awareness by educating the people of Aruba on the necessity to recycle.” – EcoTech Aruba
- “To offer high-quality service in an effective and efficient way to fulfill the demand of the customers [with regards to waste management]. [As well as] to create awareness by educating the people of Aruba on the necessity to recycle.” – EcoGas Free Zone N.V
- Products accepted: Commercial waste, as well as construction and demolition waste
*please note that EcoTech Aruba does note solely offer commercial services, but also residential services.
EcoTech and EcoGas are sister companies that work together with the aim to find and create sustainable alternatives in order to improve Aruba’s waste management situation.
To start off, their iconic green EcoTech bins which are used for waste pick-up services are made out of 20% – 100% recycled materials.
Meanwhile at EcoGas, Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and Commercial Waste (CW) are being separated, shredded and divided into three different particle sizes. This is then further divided, from metal and aluminium fractions, to granulate, organics and light plastics, of which these are recycled and exported or reused.
Furthermore, EcoTech is in the works of starting a project with the aim to recycle kitchen oil and motor oil.
3. Make Use of Green Cleaning for Your Workspace
What’s green cleaning you may ask? The Spruce explains it best:
“Green cleaning can have a lot of definitions, but the main goal of green cleaning is to use cleaning solutions and methods that keep us and our environment healthy. Green cleaning can fall under the umbrella of using a green cleaning product or cleaning your home in a way that, for example, reduces waste.”
As we all know, a lot of time is spent working in offices. Cleaning is a must when it comes to maintaining a healthy and hygienic environment for your team. So, why not make use of more Eco-friendly methods for keeping the workplace clean?
Some tips for your office to start green cleaning, include, but are not limited to: using biodegradable trash bags, making use of Eco-friendly dish soaps and all-purpose cleaners, and introducing a reusable drying cloth rather than paper towels for your kitchenette.
4. Grow Your Team and Keep the Air Fresh with Office Plants
We’re not suggesting to go all in-the-jungle (unless of course that’s what your brand is all about) when it comes to introducing plant life to the office. However, we do suggest adding some greenery to your workplace.
Our team went plant shopping a while back at Fantastic Gardens Aruba to greenify the office, and the workplace instantly brightened up with our new leafy additions.
Not only does adding plants lighten up the vibe in a space, but if you pick the right indoor plants they can clean the air too!
Furthermore, according to The Guardian’s article, Plants in Offices Increase Happiness and Productivity: “when plants were brought into offices – one plant per square meter – employee performance on memory retention and other basic tests improved substantially.”
Inspired to get some greens in the office? Send your team a memo asking them to share their picks for office plants to be added to the workplace.
5. Ditch the Paper Prints and Go Digital
Although many businesses are already switching their printed materials to digital copies, there are still a lot that haven’t opted for this transition. You can save some money on your company’s printer cartridge costs, and help the environment at the same time, by emailing invoices, receipts and proposals to clients.
The shot above is an example of one of our own digital receipts. All you need to do is take some time to make a template, and voila!
6. Buy Local Produce & Products
Purchasing local produce, is a win-win for both your business and the local farming industry. Let’s not forget its positive impact on the environment by reducing pollution due to international delivery processes.
As Aruba is an island, we do rely a lot on importing products from abroad, but if there are needed products for your business that you can easily access on the island, than why not do so?
Here’s a list of organizations that offer locally grown produce and/or manufactured products:
- Goshen Aruba
- Taki Aruba
- Santa Rosa Aruba
- 297 Farm
- Local Pride Farms
- Living Food Aruba
- Petite Greens Aruba
7. Swap the Disposables for Durables and Re-usable Products
If you’re a business in the hospitality industry one of the things you can do right now is swap those plastic straws for biodegradable ones!
Both ASD Aruba and Tara Eco Supplies, which are big-time biodegradable product providers on the island, agree that plastic straws are a big no when it comes to being Eco-friendly:
“Items that are smaller than 2×2″, such as plastic straws, are too small to be recycled. Small items are usually filtered out through the recycling facility’s sorting machinery, and sent to the landfill instead.”
– Tara Eco Supplies Aruba
“☢️ A straw is manufactured in 1 minute
✅ It is used for an average of 10 minutes
⛔️ It decomposes over a period of 100 years
At ASD, we say NO to the use of plastic straws” – ASD Aruba
If you really must make use of disposables, try to make use of more Eco-friendly ones. There are so many alternatives nowadays to replace single-use plastics and Styrofoam products. Everything from single-use plastic utensils, to Styrofoam cups and containers, can be replaced with more environmentally friendly products.
A tip to reduce disposables and waste internally for your business? Provide durable and reusable beverage containers in the kitchen, or encourage your team to bring their own unique mugs to work! This way they can express themselves with their own quirky mugs and reduce waste while sipping on their cup of Joe.
8. Make Use of Alternative Energy Methods
ELMAR, which is the main provider of electricity on the island, encourages the Aruban community to add wind turbines and/or solar panels to establishments in order to benefit from these renewable energy resources.
We did some research on alternative energy in Aruba, and although there weren’t many findings on wind-sourced energy, besides ELMAR’s Solar Panels & Windmills information, we did manage to collect options for solar energy.
Below you can find a list of companies that offer solar panel installation as a service:
If you enjoyed this blog, and would like more inspiration on going green as a business in Aruba, check out our 8 Aruba Organizations Doing Good with Green Initiatives blog for more inspiration!
*As of 08/09/2019
Published on August 9th 2019. Written by Megan Rojer.