How Does a Credit Union Work?

The first thought of many people who need to take out a loan is to turn to banks. But there are other institutions in the financial system that you can apply to for a loan, such as Payday Depot or a Credit Union.

Brief Credit Union History

The first Credit Unions appeared in the 19th century. In 1934, president Franklin Roosevelt adopted the Federal Credit Union Law, thereby creating more favorable conditions for their development and dissemination. It stated that a credit union could be established under federal or state law. The adoption of this law was followed by the creation of the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund regulated by NCUA, and their deposits have become insured at the federal level. Now that you know a bit of history, let’s try to understand what the credit unions are and how they work. 

What Is a Credit Union?

Credit Union services are quite similar to bank services, but with one significant difference. Banks attract customers and provide them with their services, whereas a Credit Union is а member-owned, member-controlled financial cooperative. Serving millions of people, Credit Unions are managed by a Board of Directors with a principle of one participant – one vote. Credit unions are open to everyone, and all members can participate in the elections of the Board of Directors. According to federal laws, these people serve credit unions as volunteers and don’t get compensation.

Credit Union vs. Commercial Bank

While commercial banks operate exclusively based on the profit received from their customers, the goal of Credit Unions is to provide their members with the necessary financial resources at more convenient conditions. Credit Unions work on the not-for-profit principle, but this doesn’t mean that they are charitable foundations. Credit Unions still need to provide some profit for themselves to cover operating expenses. The services provided by Credit Unions include:

  • Deposit accounts and boxes
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Consumer loans
  • Car loans
  • Mortgages
  • Home Equity Loans and many more

Thanks to the Credit Unions’ business model, many of these services will cost less. 

Types of Credit Unions

Credit Unions can be classified based on the level at which they are registered. This classification has two types:

  • Federally Chartered Credit Unions, regulated by the NCUA.
  • State-chartered credit unions, regulated by the government. It is worth mentioning that not every state has a state-chartered Credit Union. 

Besides, Credit Unions differ depending on who can become members of the Credit Union in question. Here are some examples:

  • Local Credit Unions
  • College Credit Unions
  • Military Credit Unions
  • Employer Credit Unions
  • Group Credit Unions

Bottom Line

Along with reasonable prices for services, credit unions also have restrictions. Firstly, it is necessary to be a member and make contributions to benefit from them. Secondly, the Credit Union network is not as widespread as the banking one. In addition, they do not own large assets like banks, and because of this, they may have stricter limitations when it comes to providing services.

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HIP JAZZ – THE EVOLUTION OF A GENRE.

hip jazz

hip jazz

Music has always been a notoriously fluid concept. It has defied cut and dried definitions due to its universality and today the world enjoys thousands of genres from every corner of the globe. 

The 1970s were particularly experimental for music and several genres emerged during this period, notably, funk, soul RnB, and disco. Now and then, a musical oddity emerges. These genres are mostly momentary, enjoyed for a very brief period before fading into the ether. But in rare instances, they persist, outlast their time, and morph into well-recognized and firmly established genres with revolutionary consequences. On August 11th, 1973, one of such oddities called hip hop, was born in the west Bronx, New York City. Hip hop enthusiasts played around with this highly malleable musical form for decades. The marriage of beats and spoken words or poetry allowed artists to work their creativity spinning hit after hit. This persisted into the early 90s when another musical oddity was born. Legendary hip hop duo, Gangstarr and other bands like the root, began to experiment with the iconic genre also of African American origin, Jazz. They released several songs sporting this fusion of oddities, it took off, never landed again and Hip Jazz was born.

Elements Of Hip Hop and Jazz and Why People Love It.

Hip Jazz is a fusion of hip hop and Jazz. These are two very distinct musical genres, both of African American origins, that served to reflect the socio-economic and political realities of their time. Jazz was inspired by afro American traditional folk music like the blues, spirituals, and work songs from as far back as the time of slavery. It borrowed heavily from ragtime and 19th-century band music and piano playing. Hip hop, on the other hand, started as hype for block parties among African American youth living in the Bronx. But eventually, it morphed into a musical outlet that allowed them to express dissatisfaction and a desire for an end to the oppression, marginalization, and disenfranchisement of black and inner-city communities in America. Today, they are both a beacon of proof of African American contribution to the culture and history of America and the world at large. The fusion of these distinct and very different sounds and musical styles created an unusual auditory experience that combines the lively, laid-back, and soft with the rapid, bouncy, and hypnotic beats. They have pervaded every space and can be heard in every social gathering.

Criticism Of Hip Jazz.

Most critics of the hip Jazz genre are typically purists who prefer this fusion did not exist. It has been vilified for its presumed simplicity and that it taints the style and image of Jazz while also taking away from the hard work of folks who have spent their lives honing their “Jazz skills”. This of course has not held much credence as almost all musical forms evolve at some point. It is however more widely accepted today and is considered an independent genre in its own right.

Conclusion.

Hip Jazz has outgrown its experimental stage and has carved a niche for itself in the world of music. Its appeal continues to draw more love and appreciation and like all other musical genres, it will likely evolve into yet another interesting and beautiful form.

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3 Changes You May Make for Your Business

Do you have any thoughts to making significant changes to your business anytime soon?

In the event you say yes to such a question, what might those changes be?

Making one or big changes to something you’ve worked for over the years can seem a little daunting.

That said it is important to have faith in any big decisions you want to move ahead with.

Changing the Status of Your Business

When considering changes for your business, here are three that may come to mind and why to consider them:

  1. Organizing in a different way – Have you given thought to the possibility of changing? That is how your business is legally organized? For example, what about the notion to convert C Corp to an LLC for your business? Doing this can allow shareholders to take proceeds. They can then make contributions with them to the LLC. Such a conversion can also mean tax benefits over time. Be sure you do research and speak to pros familiar with the conversion process. Do what it takes to avoid a big tax bill you want no part of it. Organizing in a different way can also mean you will expand beyond your present base. If you only have one office or other sort of workspace, any thoughts to expanding? This can lead to more business. It may mean going outside the town or city you are in now. By knowing when the proper time to grow your business is, you could set the stage for a boom. This is one that will take your company to new heights.
  2. Changes in management – Depending on the size and scope of your business, might it be time to shake things up? That is with your management if you have people in such roles? Such changes are big and should not be taken lightly. That said you may be at a point where you sense such a move can better propel the business forward. One of the keys to having a successful business is having the right people in the right positions. So, take stock of those individuals you have now and what they are doing. You may well decide that some change is needed and can’t wait.
  3. Go in a new direction – Although it is a big move, would you consider taking your aspirations in a new direction? This can mean selling what you have now and starting fresh. Even though such a move is a big one, you may feel it is in your best financial interests to do this. So, before you make such a move, sit down and think it over from start to finish. Do you have the financial means to sell your business and open something brand new? That of course depends in part on what kind of offers you may get for your current business. You’d also need to think if you have employees about how such a move would impact them. Finally, what are the trends showing in the industry you are thinking about going into? Doing all this research is key before considering a move. Remember, it will have a major impact on your life in more ways than one.

In making changes for your business, are you confident you will make all the right decisions?

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How To Find a Legitimate Lender Online

There are a number of lenders out there who claim to offer a safe and reliable lending service, but are these always accurate?

When looking to borrow any type of loan from a lender, it’s important to ensure that they are a trustworthy provider to borrow with and to entrust your personal details with.

Otherwise, handing such sensitive information over to an untrustworthy service can come with some significant, perhaps damaging consequences – or you can find that you are overcharged or there are upfront fees taken from your account.

Thankfully, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for to differentiate between the lenders to trust and the lenders to avoid. In this article, we explore some top tips on how to borrow money safely.

1) Check The Lender is FCA and SEC Authorised 

The Financial Conduct Authority (or FCA for short) is the UK’s financial watchdog and SEC is for the United States, which both sets and enforces the regulations for loans and rules that consumer credit firms must operate within.

If you’re unsure whether the lender you’re looking at has been authorised by the FCA, you can check this via the FCA’s Financial Services Register. Users can search this list by using the postcode of the firm, their name and reference number.

The Financial Services Register can help users find out if the lender they’re looking at is authorised to offer the services it’s currently offering, the exact types of activities they are authorised to carry out, as well as details of the firm including the main business, contact details and trading names.

2) Check the Website for Signs of Legitimacy

There are also a few features of a lender’s website that can help to suggest they are a legitimate business.

One sign to look out for is if they have their full contact details clearly displayed on the website, making it easy to reach them for any queries or concerns you may have. Be sure to check the terms and conditions too for details including company name, address and how they use your information.

Another sign is to check whether the website has HTTPS. Check to see whether there’s a padlock symbol by the URL. If it’s there, the website is secure. If there isn’t a padlock you shouldn’t use the website.

3) Check Reviews and Social Media

Another great way to check the trustworthiness of a lender is to explore their reviews – e.g., through Trustpilot and other reputable review sites. These reviews can give you a realistic insight into the experience customers have had with the business, which can help you to assess whether their services are safe for you to use.

But you must be critical when looking at the reviews, since having only good reviews might seem unnatural and perhaps they are not real, so you want to have a fair balance to get a good idea.

Similarly, you should check social media for activity and engagement, since a legitimate company will be posting on facebook and twitter regularly and also getting feedback from customers – and this is a telling sign of a real company.

4) Check the Language and Any USPs

The common language used by rogue companies includes ‘guaranteed’ or ‘100% approved’ – meanwhile we know that all customers should undergo checks to ensure that they can afford repayment without causing financial difficulty, especially if they have bad credit.

One should also be conscious of any USPs or terms that require you to make a payment before receiving a loan – since you should never have to put down money upfront. This is a common sign of an illegitimate lender.

Finally, good lenders are transparent, clearly stating their fees and how much a loan should cost – and this is always a good indication of someone good to work with.

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Should you borrow money from family and friends? 

 

Borrowing money from family and friends is one of the oldest and most popular ways of getting access to finance. On a daily basis, it might start with borrowing $10 here and there for drinks or tickets to a show, but on a larger scale, it is one of the main sources for funding big purchases, especially from parents to children, who may be helping to buy a new car, a new property or for starting a business.

But it is also widely known that money amongst friends should not mix – and if not handled well, it can lead to conflicts, falling outs and even legal action.

With this in mind, we give you some of the key things to consider when borrowing money from family and friends.

When is borrowing money from people you know a good thing

Borrowing money from family and friends certainly has its place. In times of need such as funeral costs or household repairs, the trust and bond that you have between close family and friends can help you get through a difficult time.

For these kinds of expenses, the lender is also likely to be a lot more patient and considerate in terms of repayment – and they would not be lending out the money if they expected it back quickly or at all. It is purely because they want to help.

Similarly, when your parents give you money to buy your first car or get on the property ladder, there is no real expectation to repay and no doubt your parents receive joy from helping you during this important milestone in life.

Furthermore, if the person has been turned down for a loan due to various reasons, such as bad credit or no credit – this can be a better loan option than using a loan shark, payday loans or high cost loans, which are very prominent in areas such as Nevada, Texas and California.

When borrowing money turns sour

Borrowing money from people you know can turn ugly if the expectations are not met. Whether it is a small or large amount, it can get a bit hairy if the lender is expecting repayment and this does not materialise within the expected timeframe.

The purpose of how the money was spent is also key here. If it was used for a personal or emergency expense, this is likely to result in more patience and need for fast repayment.

If the reason for borrowing is not disclosed and the borrower is seen living a lavish lifestyle or making poor life decisions e.g alcohol, drugs – this is likely to cause resentment and lead to an unhappy friendship or relationship.

Should you have a contract?

If you are lending out money to a friend and expecting repayment, there is an argument to put a contract in place, even if it is just a one-pager or written up casually on a piece of paper.

This achieves to formalise the agreement and above all, it manages expectations including the amount borrowed, when repayment is expected and any interest (if this applies).

Even just a basic email that highlights the terms is something that can legitimise the transaction and there is nothing wrong with this amongst friends. Although, you should probably avoid a lengthy agreement sent by your lawyer!

Make sure you manage expectations

Overall, borrowing amongst family and friends is just about managing expectations. You want to avoid conflict and any bad feelings, and if it works out, maybe even borrow money again. But knowing exactly the purpose of the loan and when repayment is expected are the most vital things to ensure that the transaction goes smoothly and the relationship remains strong.

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What to Do When Your Reverse Mortgage Becomes a Financial Burden

Did you take out a reverse mortgage? Many seniors consider reverse mortgages to deal with financial issues that they encounter during retirement.

There can be a lot of great reasons to take out a reverse mortgage. However, they are not without their own issues. You need to be aware of the potential pitfalls that you are going to encounter when you have a reverse mortgage.

Some of the problems with reverse mortgages might creep up on you over time. Fortunately, there are ways that you can deal with them.

Here are some things that you can do to offset any issues that were created by a reverse mortgage.

Consider refinancing your reverse mortgage

According to All Reverse Mortgage, “You can also refinance your reverse mortgage if you don’t like the interest or other terms associated with it. This might be your best option if you think that you will need to sell your property in a few years.” Refinancing will keep you from losing a large amount of money and interest. It would also be ideal if you want to make sure that your kids or other people inheriting your estate will get more.

The process of refinancing your reverse mortgage is very similar to that of refinancing a traditional mortgage. The only caveat is that you generally need to wait at least 18 months after taking out the original reverse mortgage before you can refinance it.

You should take a close look at your credit history before submitting a refinancing application. Your payment history keeping up property charges is going to be the most important factor for qualifying for a better HECM in most cases.

If your credit has improved since you took out the last reverse mortgage, you will possibly be able to qualify for that terms. You can also try to take steps to improve your credit score if you want to take preemptive measures to get a better deal. You should start by looking at your credit reports and seeing if there are any errors on them. Around 20% of all credit reports contain errors, which could be hurting your score. You should also take a close look at any outstanding debt that you have. If you still have a large amount of money from your reverse mortgage, then you should use it to pay off high interest debts, such as credit card bills. This will both boost your credit score and minimize your long-term expenses. It will be a win-win, especially if you get a cheaper read on your reverse mortgage.

You should also settle any possible liens on your property. They could be hurting your potential of getting a better read on your reverse mortgage.

Lease your home instead of selling it before you move

When you take out a reverse mortgage, the bank is going to give you money that will later be taken out of the value of your home. Unfortunately, you have to hold onto the property if you don’t want to pay the reverse mortgage loan back.

You might end up in a situation where you really can’t stay in your home. You might feel like you are a prisoner to your loan, because it is keeping you from relocating if you can’t afford to pay it back.

You might not have been concerned about this when you first took out your reverse mortgage. You probably thought that you would never relocate. Unfortunately, problems happen. You might get an unexpected divorce. You might develop health problems that prevent you from living in an area with bad weather or excessive pollution. Your kids might take new jobs in another state, which forces you to move as well if you want to be close to them.

Before you bite the bullet and sell your home to repay your reverse mortgage, you should explore other options. One idea that you might want to consider is leasing out your home and using the cash from it to pay for new housing wherever you want to relocate.

This might give you the best of both worlds. You get to keep the money that you secured from your reverse mortgage and have the flexibility to relocate at the same time. You don’t even have to physically deal with your tenants if you are willing to outsource that obligation to a property management company.

Explore property tax relief services

Property taxes are among the reasons that people when face problems with their reverse mortgages. You might be required to repay your reverse mortgage if you stop paying your property taxes.

You might be able to get ahead of the problem by seeking property tax relief services. The terms of these services vary between jurisdictions, so you should pay close attention to the requirements. The governor of Idaho recently signed a property tax relief bill, which is an example of how these services work. If you are eligible, you might avoid property tax problems that could trigger a requirement to repay your reverse mortgage.

Make sure that you are reverse mortgage is a benefit rather than a liability

There are a variety of reasons that reverse mortgages have become popular in recent years. They really do offer a lot of benefits. However, there are some situations where they could become a burden, so you need to take steps to avoid that from being the case.

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Things to Know If You Plan to Use an Air Rifle in England

Air guns make use of compressed gases including air to propel bullets and other projectiles without going through the oxidation process employed in other firearms. 

Apart from guns, other weapons make use of compressed air, e.g air bows, they are called air weapons. 

Air weapons are used for hunting and other shooting sports. In England, air weapons that have a muzzle energy of less than one Joule are not considered lethal weapons and therefore, do not require a permit. 

However, air weapons can quickly become lethal weapons when they sport muzzle energy of over 1 Joule. That said, buying air rifles in the UK requires the weapon owner to learn and understand certain things about the weapon, including the rules governing the ownership of an air rifle in the region. 

Age Requirement

Not unlike other firearms, some laws guide the ownership and usage of air rifles in the UK. For instance, individuals under the age of 14 can only use air rifles on private property with permission from the owner of said property. However, they cannot own, rent or receive air rifles as a gift. Furthermore, they must be supervised by someone who is 21 years or older.

Individuals within 14-17 years see the above rule loosen a little for them. They can borrow an air rifle with ammunition, and they can fire the weapon on private property as long as they have permission from the landowner. What they cannot do is receive an air rifle as a gift or purchase one. However, they can carry the weapon in public as long as they have supervision from someone who is at least 21 years old.

For individuals who are 18 or older, there are no restrictions on buying or owning an air rifle. However, a permit is needed before the weapon can be fired. 

Basic Etiquette

It is considered basic firearms etiquette to carry your gun in a gun cover whenever you are in a public place. That, and to make sure it is not cocked. Also, before firing your weapon on private property, make sure you have the property owner’s permission. Firing on private property, or in public for that matter can lead to serious legal implications. Furthermore, firearm wielders are expected to understand the possibility of a ricochet and discharge their firearm with that possibility in mind.

It is also considered basic etiquette to be responsible for your air gun at all times, to secure its location at all times, and prevent it from being used by others without your permission, especially by persons under the age of 18. Not taking the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening can lead to legal implications.

Locations and Boundaries

Although you may fire your weapon in places where you have received permission to do so, you are not allowed to fire any projectile beyond the lands to which you have been given permission. Doing so is considered a punishable offense under the law, even if the shooter is only 14. In this scenario, the supervising adult will be held accountable for the teenager’s actions. 

In addition, it is illegal to fire any kind of weapon within 50 feet of the center of a highway. If bystanders or other road users are harmed as a result, the offender will be prosecuted.

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Popular Remodel Upgrades for the Home

There are several reasons why house owners choose to upgrade their homes. It could be to resell the property or to change things up a little. When the same designs or appliances have been used for a long time, it is normal to want to try new things or replace the old and faulty ones.

Generally, some remodeling options are more popular among homeowners than others. Furthermore, some remodeling upgrades are popular in some regions than others. Some popular remodeling upgrades for the home include:

Room Dividers and Partitions

Room dividers are especially useful for homes that have an open floor plan. Several types of dividers can be used, however, the most common method is to use partition walls for dividing rooms

Indoor plants that have been carefully trimmed to be opaque and block the view from across the room can also be used as room dividers. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could erect a partition wall with built-in planters. Other types of dividers and partitions include extra high curtains, drapes, floating arts, and sliding doors. 

In homes that use an open floor plan, not having room dividers and partitions can be very distracting. However, having too many dividers will only make the rooms feel small and cramped. 

Wallpapers

A little old-fashioned, but wallpapers have evolved with the times so homeowners have a myriad of genres and options to choose from. The right wallpaper can give your home a significant upgrade. 

However, in the spirit of remodeling, you probably want to get wallpapers that are easy to remove for the next time you choose to remodel your apartment. Also, easy-to-remove wallpapers will not damage your walls, so there’s that. 

Fashion an Open Space

Sometimes, it’s important to create partitions to divide and make rooms smaller. However, open spaces are very important to have in your home. Therefore, if you’re looking to upgrade your home and it doesn’t already have an open space, now is a good time to create one.

You don’t have to tear down your walls to achieve this, creating open space in your home can be achieved by getting rid of large furniture. Furthermore, If you have appliances or areas you no longer use, like an old dining room, get rid of them. You could also create an illusion of a bigger, airier room by positioning mirrors opposite your windows to reflect light into the room, this will make it look more spacious. 

Upgrade Your Kitchen and Bathroom

It’s easy to overlook your kitchen and bathroom when upgrading your home. However, paying attention to these rooms can have a more significant effect on the ambiance and overall awesomeness of your home. 

It is important to always keep your bathroom clean. No brainer, right? Also, you should change the old and rusted designs or appliances e.g your old doorknob or faucets. Furthermore, you can repaint the space and add a few things to beautify your bathroom e.g indoor plants.

In the kitchen area, cabinets are popularly overlooked. So, make sure to change the design and replace the old and/or broken kitchen appliances. You can also repaint the cabinets and the room to make them look new and pretty. 

Painting

Generally, cleaning and painting your home never gets old. It is perhaps, the most popular of them all. You can repaint using the previous color or you could go with an entirely new one. You could go light or dark, simple or crazy. Basically, the ball is in your court. 

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Can You Trust the Person You Are Dating?

It goes without saying that the dating world can be a little tricky to navigate at times.

With that thought in mind, how trusting are you of the person you are seeing now?

In the event you have your questions about them, it is best to put everything out there on the table. Doing so can make for less tension and let you know if you should stay or go.

So, how trusting should you be when dating someone?

Is the Individual in Fact Available?

One of the trickier pieces of the puzzle in dating someone is making sure they are totally available.

As an example, someone may say they were married for a period of time and are now officially divorced. There is also the chance they say they are in the middle of divorcing someone.

So, are you going to be satisfied with the answer they give you?

One thought is to get online and in fact see if you can find out some evidence one way or the other.

As you can go online if divorced to find out how do I get a copy of my decree absolute, use the web to see the one you are dating.

While you hope they are upfront about being divorced, they may be keeping something from you. That something could also be information outside their divorce status. For example, what if they have a criminal record and you stumble upon it while online? Would you still consider dating them moving ahead?

By doing some online research, you are one step closer to finding out if the person is on the up-and-up or hiding stuff.

Will Finances Come into Play?

Depending on how far along you are in dating someone, the talk of finances may or may not come up.

In the event it does come up, are you going to be in a good position to have the chat or chats?

If you’ve been dating this person for a while now, they may show some interest and you may too of combining resources. This more times than not would mean moving in together.

Now, you may not feel you are at that point where you want to do such a thing. In fact, it could take years for you to get there.

That said you want to be careful. This would be so that you do not end up in a financial bind do to another person’s not being totally honest with you.

Last, you also want to know what kind of character the person you are dating has.

Sure, while you may see some things early on, other actions may take a while to rear their heads. The last thing you want is to be caught off guard by one’s behavior so much so it leaves you questioning dating them.

Along with how they act around you, you can also see if they have any notable trail of social media activity. If so, the hope is they have not posted any questionable comments or images over time.

In trusting the person you are dating, what will make you think twice about moving on with them?

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3 Instant Tips For Reducing Waste In Your Business

Some businesses don’t even realize how much waste they’re producing until they start to look for alternative ways of doing things and see the difference they could make. For this reason, more and more businesses are starting to recognize the impact that they have on the environment, and doing their part by reducing waste. 

Reducing the amount that your business creates can have a hugely positive effect on the world and can even reduce your costs in the process. In fact, many companies would be shocked to find that if they were to weigh their waste, that they are wasting more resources than they ever imagined. 

The great news is that it’s never too late to make positive changes in your business and reduce your carbon footprint.  If you’re ready to start making changes and reduce your waste production, then here are some of the best tips for you to consider. 

Take an Inventory  

The first step to making positive changes is to assess where your business is at. Take a look around and notice the areas of your business that seem to be producing the most waste. Try to establish where you can make the most positive changes, cut back on materials, or even switch to recyclable products instead. Taking a look around and evaluating what kind of changes can be made is the best way to create a plan

Ditch Bottled Water 

One of the biggest causes of pollution is due to the petroleum used to create plastic water bottles. Not only does drinking bottled water create more waste and damage to the planet, but it’s actually more expensive than tap water.  In many cases, doesn’t taste that much better. 

Rather than providing plastic water bottles for your company, consider making the switch to reusable bottles or glasses. Simply add a filter to your office’s drinking water source, and not only will you significantly reduce the amount of waste that your business produces, but you also cut back on a major expense. 

Ditch Paper  

Depending on what kind of business you have, you may use a considerable amount of paper. While you may not be able to eliminate the use of paper altogether, it’s possible to cut back. Try to find as many opportunities to go digital as possible. You may even want to consider creating a bit of friendly competition. Try to see which business department can cut back on the most amount of measured paper over the course of the month. Whoever wins gets a prize. An incentive can be a great motivating force to make positive changes. 

Rethink Packaging 

In the United States, packaging counts for a huge amount of produced waste. Rethinking the way that your business packages products can cut down on a considerable amount of waste.  Beyond rethinking your own packaging, you may also want to consider only buying from suppliers whose packaging is earth-conscious as well. 

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