Sustainability effort: moving small office

I did it again…..  I let a few months slip by without writing anything.

August, September were really busy, then came mid October and nothing.  So this is what it’s like to be, affected by the economic situation of the time.

Being a small operation, it was an easy decision to close my studio, especially the company that shared it with me moved out.  So the very basic thing about the office has been proved again.  Office is where you go to see the people you like, to be with the people you like.  And if you can work somewhere else, you don’t need a big, dedicated office.

But I think the non-Japanese would be interested in what the small business does when they move their office, especially the environmental consideration.  So here are few things:

1.  We really separate our trash!  Even on day-to-day operation, we have a few bins, cans, bottles, recyclable papers, magazines and books, burnable, non-burnable, big non-burnable devices. When we move, we have to comply with this too.

2.  For project papers, most of the major Japanese companies are really strict about protecting their information.  Majority of the stuff is really not worth all that hoopla, but I signed the contract saying I’ll protect their information at the degree they require, so that’s that.  Fortunately, we have a great services available to us from logistic companies.  For instance, Yamato delivery services would bring you a box, you fill it with confidential documents, and they will pick it up, recycle the whole thing, the document and the box, without opening it.  1,800 yen per box which is about 5,000 sheets of A4 papers.  This time, I recycled about 15,000 sheets of these confidential documents.

3.  I decided to throw away my multi-function printer, which is in the category of large un-recyclable devices.  For this, I had to purchase a sticker for this category of trash, and call the city service to come pick it up.  The prices for these item differs.  PC’s and home electronic goods are more expensive to throw away, up to 10,000 yen.  When you are buying a new one to replace old one, the manufacturer  will take back the old one, but in my case, it was a throw away so this didn’t work.

4.  Since most of my office furnitures were made by my husband with recycled particle board, it was easy to take them apart.  It was collected by the recycle company that does these sort of things.  The people I shared the office had lots more furniture stuff than me to recycle, so they hired this recycling company.  They let me add my stuff to theirs.

I remember 15 years ago when I was in charge of a small move within the company I was with.  In those days, we just threw everything together for it to be shipped out to the landfill.  We’ve come a long way.  And still have a long way to go!

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