Thern believes that applying green processes to the workplace creates a healthy environment for employees, reduces unnecessary waste and recognizes the role that businesses play in leading the way for social change. That is why Thern has decided to reuse, reduce, and recycle their packing pallets!
Previously, Thern built new pallets for every ordered that came in, no matter how big or how small. They spent approximately $90,000 annually on lumber for these pallets and built over 2,000 pallets a year. Since they were building new pallets, they had no use for pallets they received containing raw materials or additional supplies and burned or otherwise disposed of these pallets that were often in great condition. Thern realized that they could reuse these pallets that material came in on to ship product to their customers, resulting in less waste, measurable cost savings, and significant environmental impact.
According to ReUSE Minnesota, “Reuse is our future. Earth’s raw materials are going too fast. Reuse extends the life of things that have already been made – so it conserves natural resources and reduces waste and pollution. Reuse – including repair, rental, and repurposing – means good local jobs and keeps money in our local economies.” This is something that Thern believes to be true, so when they saw the opportunity they decided to take it. Often pallets can be reused with little to no re-work, although sometimes “touch-ups” are required. While Thern is still using lumber in their process, it is minimal, and the impact is noticeable. Thern is doing what they can to reuse incoming pallets, though there are still times that pallets will need to built from scratch to ensure protection during shipping.
Thern hopes that their choice to reuse, recycle, reduce and will inspire other companies to think about making similar decisions. Through the recycling and reuse of wood products, the organization can help to reduce wood waste and save natural resources while saving money. As Albert Einstein said, “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.