Happy Earth Day!
For Earth Day, I thought I’d share some things that Lasting Impressions Event Rental is working on to reduce our carbon footprint. Over the past few months, we have been assessing how to be more efficient with our use of paper, linen hangers, old computer equipment, water, electricity, and much more that our event, tent, and linen rentals entail.
The first major area that we tackled was our use of paper. Recycling the paper has been a common practice at our company for years, but we wanted to find a way to reduce our paper usage as well. We are very excited to announce our implementation of paperless order fulfillment. In late 2018, we purchased a customized add-on to our rental software which allows customers to sign rental agreements electronically. This winter, our Columbus location started checking in orders on computers instead of paper. Then, in February, our equipment delivery crews and tent crews began using tablets instead of paper for our 3-point accuracy check system on all deliveries, checking counts when pulling, loading, and delivering orders. The use of these tablets out in the field allows our staff to digitally confirm order counts, make notes on the contract, as well as allowing the customer to make notes as well and take pictures if necessary. Our customers then sign for the delivery on the screen and all of the information is instantly stored digitally in our rental software.
The drivers also use the tablets to pick up orders and note counts directly onto the digital contract in the field. In late March, our warehouse staff adopted the tablets to pull and stage orders as well, and we have nearly eliminated paper at our Will Call desk. Our Cleveland location is also following our new paperless protocols and the transition, while not seamless, has been far easier than any of us anticipated.
This is a big deal for two reasons. First, by going digital, we have increased efficiency and accuracy, which benefits us internally as well as our service to our customers. Second, our Columbus and Cleveland locations are no longer using a combined total of 50,000 pages of pre-printed contract forms as well as 250,000 pages of white copy paper annually!
We make a point to recycle whenever we can, and IT recycling is a very important part of that. Our company has had a lot of laptops, desktop computers, and printers over the years which have proven to be one of the most difficult areas to adopt a recycling routine. Recently, we found a great company called Rentek who does a great job of picking up and recycling our old equipment responsibly, offering certified secure hard drive wiping which is important.
While there are many other areas where we focus these greener efforts, our linen department is an important one. We use thousands of hangers annually for our linen rentals. Each table cloth is cleaned, hung on a hanger, and covered in clear plastic. Through the years, we have offered recycling of these in an effort to not only reduce waste, but also as a disposal service for our customers.
To further our reduce and reuse philosophy, we are also holding a “Retired Equipment Sale” under a tent in our parking lot this Friday, April 26th, 2019 from 10am to 4pm and Saturday, April 27th, 2019 from 9am-1pm. Feel free to stop by and check it out.
As you can imagine, the water and electricity usage for a company who washes linens, dishes, glassware, tents, and lots of other equipment is astronomical. To aid our efforts in conservation, in 2014 we invested in a 3,000 square foot tent washing machine. This giant tool delivers amazing results when it comes to cleaning our vinyl and is extremely energy efficient. For our dish processing area, we have relied on a reverse osmosis water treatment and heat reclamation washing system along with an energy efficient rack conveyor system. Our goal was to provide the highest quality product while employing environmentally responsible practices. Together, these state-of-the-art systems deliver super clean dishware at an impressive speed, allowing us to efficiently clean the thousands of plates, glassware, and flatware that come back every week.
Lastly, our warehouse space stretches over 75,000 square feet, with an additional two-story showroom and a dozen offices. With that amount of space, we chose to install motion sensors to control our lights. This allows lights to go on only when staff are in an area as well as having the lights turn-off automatically.
Lasting Impressions values our natural resources. It is our goal to continue our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint wherever we can!