Dirtbusters Environmentally Friendly Changes and Future Plans
In April 2018, we moved our HQ to a farm in the countryside of Kent. With this move came the opportunity to implement more environmentally friendly changes into our business operations.
As a company we always strive to have less impact on the environment. Previously our HQ was based in a business park with little flexibility, space and authority to change major aspects of our business operations to keep them in line with our beliefs and core values.
Moving to a farm in the countryside has given us the opportunity to make these changes. So we’re sharing with you our recent environmentally friendly changes, including our proudest change – our entire site is solar powered.
Here’s a quick overview of our changes:
-Solar powered business
-Our main source of heating is a log burning stove
-Low-powered LED lights
-Our staff kitchen is made from recycled PET bottles
-We’ve cut out a link in the supply chain to reduce emissions
-Joined the SAS250 club
-Run monthly beach cleans
-Swapped plastic tape for recycled paper tape
-We’ve purchased a cardboard shredder
NOTE: this article has been edited to give updates on more recent changes. We wrote our aims for further improvement when this article was first published in April 2018. Since then, we have managed to achieve 2 of the 3 aims. These changes are listed below under the subheading ‘for the future’.
Solar panels cover our warehouse roof, providing electricity for the whole site and more. We produce so much energy from the solar panels that the excess is contributed back to the grid.
As a business we use electricity constantly, using renewable energy is a great way for us to reduce our impact on the environment.
DIRTBUSTERS ARE NOW COMPLETELY SOLAR POWERED
In the office, our main source of heating is a wood-burning stove. Not only is this going to be so cosy and warm in the winter, but it’s carbon neutral and consumes less energy. Reconditioned radiators adapted for electric, have been installed in the office, but these will only be used in the depths of winter to take the chill off.
We have a big supply of wood on the farm, especially since we have been renovating the place. We are therefore only using off-cuts and fallen wood from the land to fuel the fire.
In the warehouse we have installed low-power infrared heaters. These consume a lot less energy as they require less power to produce the same amount of heat as conventional heaters.
Low-power LED lights have been installed in the warehouse. The warehouse is a big space, which requires a lot of lighting and warmth for employees. So, we have chosen heating & lighting options that require less energy.
The staff room has a lovely new kitchen made from recycled wood and coated in recycled PET bottles. We're loving the new sustainable KUNSBACKA design from IKEA. Check out the video here
EMISSIONS FROM DELIVERIES
We sell our cleaning products on Amazon & Ebay as well as our website. Dirtbusters Professional Cleaning products are made in a factory in the UK and then delivered to us on site. We then package these products and send them straight to our customers, or to Amazon via couriers.
To reduce the amount of deliveries in the supply chain, we have stopped some products coming to us before going to Amazon. They now go straight to Amazon from the factory. This has taken out a link in the supply chain.
SAS 250 CLUB
In March we joined the SAS 250 Club, which is the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) business membership scheme. Through this club, we donate to support SAS’ amazing work in protecting marine life against plastic waste and other pollutants. SAS also works to educate schools in single-use plastics and how they can reduce the amount of waste in their everyday lives. We are passionate about the sea. As a family we have always lived very close by. Moreover, the amount of plastic waste and the damage it is doing, is devastating.
Monthly Beach Cleans
Joining the SAS 250 club and organising monthly beach cleans in our local area is a great way for us to have an impact and influence on the plastic-free movement. As a company we are doing more to reduce our impact on the environment, including getting the community together to help to maintain our beaches and raise awareness of the impact marine litter can have on the world.
If you are in the local area of Folkestone, watch out for our beach clean events on Facebook and come and join in!
DIRTBUSTERS STAFFROOM KITCHEN MADE FROM RECYCLED PLASTIC
FOR THE FUTURE
Our aim for 2018 & beyond is to implement changes to further reduce our environmental impact. We have made significant changes whilst moving location, but we know that there’s even more we can do, so the adaptions & changes will not stop here.
Note: the below list was created back in April and in less than 5 months we have achieved two of the three. See notes below for more details.
Some of the things we are looking into are:
- Changing our plastic tape, used in sealing our packages, to water-activated gum tape – we swapped our plastic tape for recycled paper tape that’s branded with our logo. We’re finding this to be just as good as water-activated gum tape. The added benefit is that no equipment is required to activate its stickiness, unlike water-activated gum tape. It’s like normal tape without the nasty plastic.
- Purchasing a cardboard shredder to recycle cardboard boxes into shredding to protect our products sent out to customers. – we have the cardboard shredder! It’s used roughly once a week in the warehouse, which makes enough shredding to last a week. This shredding is used in parcels to protect our lovingly packed products.
- We are researching plastic bottle alternatives. The current plastic bottles that we use help to keep this price low, but we are looking into how we can introduce recycled plastic bottles into our product range. – We’re still working on this, stay tuned!
Dirtbusters Professional Cleaning Products are non-caustic solutions that achieve professional results. Our key values are family, passions, the environment and producing professional standard products. We always keep these in mind in everything we do.
Our move to the farm in Whitfield, Kent, not only has brought with it environmentally friendly changes, but a beautiful location. We're not far from the sea, but we're also in the middle of the countryside. Our dog Otis loves the new work place and he's made himself very at home! It's the perfect setting for our family business.
DIRTBUSTERS OFFICE BUILDING
OTIS UNDER THE BLOSSOM TREE ON DIRTBUSTERS FARM
DIRTBUSTERS BRANDED PAPER TAPE
CARDBOARD SHREDDER DIRTBUSTERS