And we don’t mean the human race. Well, we don’t just mean the human race. This year, the theme that the Earth Day Network is running with is Protecting Our Species. From the bees to the turtles, many species around the world are reaching dangerously low numbers – or becoming extinct. From 2016 to 2018, half of the Great Barrier Reef’s coral reef system died.
It’s obvious that the amount of waste we’re producing, whether it’s emissions or plastics, is having a huge impact on the thousands of species we have around the world. The Guardian released an article earlier this year which stated that 1,200 species face “almost certain extinction” due to the effects of human activity and “threats such as agriculture, urbanisation, night lighting, roads, rail, waterways and population density”.
What can we do? Aside from making sure we cut our plastic rings for the six-pack of beers we have at the weekend and remembering to invest in a bamboo toothbrush, there must be more to it?
At Swipii, like most, we’re trying our best to make changes bit by bit in order to reduce our environmental impact. Here are some of the steps we’re taking…
We’re slowly but surely starting to make sure everything we use can be used again, and again, and again.
First of all, the humble reusable coffee cup is a favourite among staff at Swipii- above all because we’re right next to some incredible coffee shops!
Then we get the reusable water bottles, which every Swipii member is gifted to stop us from going out and buying plastic bottles every lunchtime. Some even think it might have helped increase their water intake, always a bonus.
Next up, we have reusable tote bags- reducing our need for plastic bags every single time we go pick a few things up from the local shop.
Any ideas for other belongings we can replace with a reusable equivalent?
At the end of December in 2018, National Geographic published an article revealing that an enormous 91% of plastic waste is not being recycled. On average, 8 million metric tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year. So, it’s obvious that we need to do something.
The reusable stuff we mentioned above is important, but we need to be aware of how much plastic we’re consuming generally. Buy fruit without putting it in the little plastic bag, don’t take a plastic straw when you’re sipping on a wee rum and coke, and when you’re having a barbecue just bite the bullet and use your normal plates and cutlery. You won’t die of fatigue if you have to wash the dishes.
For small businesses’ sustainability, reducing plastic is just as important- if not more. We won’t claim to be experts on the topic, so here’s some stuff we found on how small businesses can be more sustainable. A lot of it includes reducing the environmental impact at each stage in your supply chain.
But there are other things we’re doing at Swipii. One big thing is discontinuing the Swipii key fob/tablet model.
Part of moving over to the app is knowing we won’t be making any more plastic cards- we were ultimately just adding to the huge amount of plastic already produced around the world.
Now, with the app, businesses just need a card reader (you can check Swipii-compatible card readers here), and shoppers just need a smartphone and a debit or credit card. All of which were already out there in the world, so we’re not adding to plastic consumption to anywhere near the same scale any more! Winning.
Whether it’s cutting out the plastic key fobs of old Swipii or removing the need for a business to produce their own loyalty cards, the Swipii app can get rid of both for a business and make a loyalty program much more sustainable for small businesses.
On top of everything mentioned so far, the team at Swipii are also pretty good at making environmentally conscious and sustainable choices for how they choose to travel into work. Your commute can either add or detract from the number of carbon emissions you are producing. Although it’s American, you can get an idea of the impact you’re having using this pretty cool Map My Emissions tool.
With the vast majority taking public transport, some cycling, and some walking in, we’re cutting down the carbon footprint of the collective team one step at a time.
In certain cases, members of the team even choose to work from home. Going from a 5-day week to 4 days can already make a significant impact on the number of emissions you’re creating personally. Of course, remote working has more benefits than just being more eco-friendly- so we’re proud to be a company that supports it!
Swipii is also a UK-wide company, so a lot of the time, we have to communicate with other businesses who are outside of our immediate geographical vicinity. In some cases, we’ll make sure we can get out and see our partners in person- but we’ll push for video conferencing in many circumstances. Not only will it make meetings more efficient, it also cuts down on any travelling that might have been necessary- whether it’s one person travelling long distances in a car or a couple of people taking a flight.
Think we sound like your kind of people? You can read more About Us or even drop us a message from a chat, via our Contact Us page. Whether you fancy trying the Swipii app or you’d like to join the team, you can find it all on our website today.
We’d be the perfect match for your sustainable small business if you’re trying to cut down your environmental impact and want to get rid of physical loyalty cards.