REDUCE, RE-USE, RECYCLE
|Recycling and Brand Identity|
Recycling is not only an ethical and planet-friendly activity, but it can support brand identity for businesses as well.
Designing your place of business with the intention of reusing materials creates an identity for your brand that is unique and will make consumers take special note.
Many people are concerned about how their consumer habits effect the environment – but conversely feel as though the power is out of their hands.
This also provides an opportunity for businesses to stand out and provide eco-friendly and green solutions.
Recycling, albeit often overlooked, can be an excellent and incredibly productive way to demonstrate environmental dedication.
There are many benefits of recycling:
- It reduces the amount of waste sent to landfills.
- It reduces the embodied energy in a building’s construction.
- It prevents pollution caused by sourcing new raw materials.
- It can save construction cost, by not having to source new materials
Sharing the Story
Of course, how well you share the story of the recycled materials also boosts your businesses backstory, adding depth and dimension to your business.
Increasing transparency helps build trust and demonstrates an understanding and commitment to the social and environment concerns of your customers.
‘People want to see authenticity and dedication to a business’s philosophy – they want to feel like they are part of something bigger.’ (www.hintonswaste.co.uk/news/can-recycling-help-improve-business-brand-value)
There are numerous ways to incorporate recycled materials, and countless resources available to find them:
- Enlist the help of a waste managing company
- Floorboards, claddings, window frames and gutters are examples of materials that are easily repurposed
- Clean plasterboard waste is able to be repurposed into soil conditioning supplies (See Green Gorilla and Canterbury Landscape Supplies) and sometimes back into new plasterboard
- Other options for flooring include recycled rubber, carpet, cork, linoleum and stone
- Insulation options include materials incorporating wood chips, polyester fibres and glass
- Look out for raw and eco-friendly materials as well, which are often recyclable many times. Not only this, but their embodied energy is also usually lower
There are a few important things to look out for however:
- Be very careful of reusing contaminated materials – eg most timber treatments are very toxic and contact with skin should be avoided. Some paints contain lead which is also highly toxic to humans and animals
- Materials with high formaldehyde should be avoided
- Generally the more a material has been mixed (or ‘contaminated’) with another, the less likely it able to be further recycled, so look for ‘pure’ materials
For inspiring examples of material reuse, see the gallery below. All these coffee shops incorporate recycled elements into their designs in creative ways.
Reduce, Re-use, Recycle
For more information on recycling & re-used construction materials in New Zealand, please see:
Let Black Pine Architects assist you with incorporating recycled gems into your next project.