For small businesses, there are lots of things to juggle to be successful. Local business Kirkland Bicycle knows that – but has also made doing their part for the environment a priority. For Bike Month, we sat down with Joe Beyler of Kirkland Bicycle to talk a bit about what they do, and how other small businesses can work toward improving their environmental impacts.
Joe has been championing recycling at Kirkland Bicycle for the past couple of years, since he realized how much material could be recycled instead of thrown away. He set up different bins for all sorts of unique recyclable materials – steel, aluminum, Styrofoam™, and plastic film – and encourages his coworkers to sort their waste. The metals are recycled locally, and the plastic foam and plastic film are brought to the City’s Styrofest events.
It can be tough to take the time to get things sorted, since efficiency is the key to their business, but Joe thinks it’s worth it to do their part. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get his coworkers on board, but Joe doesn’t get discouraged. His advice is to make it as easy as possible by having designated bins, marking them clearly, and sticking with it. A dedication to recycling and friendly approach have made recycling a consistent choice for employees.
“It can be scary thinking about big environmental issues and their impacts, but instead I just focus on what I can do,” said Joe.
Publicity and customer awareness can be a side benefit of going green. While Kirkland Bicycle hasn’t promoted a lot of what they’re doing, they imagine that customers would be happy to know about their environmental efforts. Health and wellness are part of the culture at a bike shop, so being environmentally responsible aligns with that.
There’s still more that Kirkland Bicycle could do to go greener, and they hope to continue on the path there. They encourage other businesses to do what they can to protect the environment – and recycling more is one easy thing we all can do. Check out more ideas of things you can do to champion waste reduction at your work.