By Guest: Matt Rump
My name is Matt Rump and I own a company called CycleRecycle, you can check it out at www.cyclerecycleuk.com. Fundamentally, we are an Independent Bicycle shop with a difference. The difference being that we recycle bikes and parts, which in turn keeps bikes and parts out of landfill. This is a article about how I use a business approach to maximise profit and keep items out of the landfill in my home.
As a businessman I have attended numerous courses on how to start, run and grow a business. The key message I have gained from these courses above all others is how to maximise my bottom line. Basically, how to increase profit.
In today’s world, particularly with the current economic climate, I see this `maximising profit` everywhere, and not just in the business arena. Basically, there are two ways to increase profit, one is to put your prices up, the other is to minimise your outgoings. And this is where Recycling comes into everything we do as a business, but also everything that I do personally.
Let me tell you about my home. Nearly everything in my home is recycled. I’m an active participant in the Freegle organisation, http://www.freecycle.net and totally believe in the ethos of giving unwanted items a new home, and keeping perfectly useable items out of landfill.
Freegle is great because everything is free. If person A has a washing machine they no longer need, they post a free ad on their local Freegle. If person B needs a washing machine they contact person A and pick it up. The idea is so simple and revolutionary, but more importantly, if personal income is seen as a business, this is one way in which people can `minimise their outgoings`. Brand new washing machines make a big dent in your `bottom line`.
Recently we needed a study desk, someone offered one on Freegle and we asked if we could have it. They agreed and we collected. It was free, and would have cost us over £100 new. It’s totally usable (in fact it is in great condition). And we kept it out of landfill. More importantly we saved ourselves over £100 in hard cash.
The Cycle industry likes to encourage cyclists to upgrade its components and bikes as often as possible. Of course it does, its immensely profitable (Shimano made over £1.2billion last year). But in truth, the difference between this years bottle cage is negligible to last years bottle cage. Our business tries hard to keep these parts and bikes out of landfill. But the truth is, we live in a disposable society. A throw away society where things are upgraded for the sake of upgrading quite simply isn’t sustainable.
My TV is a 10 year old 32”, its the old style with the huge Cathode Ray Tube. Not the `trendiest` TV, but it works perfectly, it was free, and I can watch the same programmes as someone with a LCD/3D supa dupa TV. Big difference is my bottom line.
There are finite resources on this planet (look at oil and how as that runs out, the cost of oil increases). Whilst my dream car is a Ferrari, I drive a small hatchback with a tiny engine that does nearly 70 miles to the gallon. More profit in the bank.
And don’t get me started on my Garden. My vegetable plot is my pride and joy, but my compost heap is where the real magic is happening. A small bag of compost to start my veggies off this year was £4 a bag, but all year I have been putting my grass cuttings and food waste onto my compost heap and so next year I will have free compost to grow my free veggies. More money in the bank, plus the fact that I am certainly not going to be short of fresh vegetables through the autumn and winter.
Of course, you don’t want to keep everything, and my local council provides bins for Recycling that are great for things that can be easily recycled. Cardboard packaging and plastic drinks bottles can be recycled into useful secondary products. However, with a bit of ingenuity a secondary use for most things can be found around your home (or business). And I can assure you that there is no better feeling than recycling improving your bottom line.
How do you practice more sustainability in your life?