In 2016, it was estimated that every American produced an average of 4.4 pounds of trash each day. 1,600 pounds per year … about as much as an average-sized cow weighs … that’s a lot of trash. And we’re running out of places to put it. So what’s an Earth-loving human to do? For starters, we can apply our at-home-recycling habits at work.

Recycling: Here, There, and Everywhere

Last year, in an effort to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a company, Intouch’s Kansas City office manager Kelly Dougherty formed a Green Team. Now, the team’s work — and success — is being acknowledged. On April 26, Intouch will be officially recognized as a Johnson County Certified R5 Green Partner.

Collage of Intouch ladies recycling

“We’re working very hard to make Intouch greener,” says Kelly (above, left) about being awarded the R5 certification, “and this is added incentive, knowing that what we are doing is and will continue to be successful.”

Intouchers can also enjoy the fruits of our labors — massive vegetables that spring from the compost the office contributes, as Hailey Lapin and Heather Boone demonstrate (above, right).

The R5 Certified Program is a voluntary and non-regulatory program that promotes recycling, energy efficiency, and waste reduction. Earning the R5 certification takes commitment. According to the program’s application companies must:

  1. Complete an on-site waste assessment to develop a waste-reduction plan.
  2. Maintain a functioning, accessible recycling program.
  3. Participate in a waste-diversion program that includes signage and training for employees.
  4. Develop a food-waste prevention policy, donation outlet, composting program or other recovery method.

And once those steps are taken, other strategies determined by the program must be followed and maintained for the long term.

Strategies Intouch has implemented include purchasing compostable paper goods and utensils; installing composting and recycling bins in our break rooms and providing recycling bins for batteries and wine bottle corks. We also have jewelry-recycling and holiday-lights recycling programs.

Although some of us were a bit confused about which bins to use in the beginning, sorting our “waste” is second nature now, and it feels less wasteful. It also feels pretty good to know we’re doing our part for the planet!