Many of the day to day things that we all use in our offices were created to make our jobs easier and more efficient. The problem that we are now faced with is that these very things like paper, printer ink or even Post Its enter through our doors with a boat load of wasteful qualities.
- Natural resource consumption needed for production
- Energy use for distribution
- Pollution associated with making the product
- Finally, the big question of what to do with the waste when we are done with it?
1. Reduce the waste you produce!
Stop the Insanity
Junk mail--> Most of it ends up in the garbage, and then makes a home in landfills.
Stop receiving unsolicited mail-->contact companies directly and to be removed from the mailing list.
Wash Your Dishes
Reusing will prevent the expense of materials and the release of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons1 into the atmosphere, produced when making Styrofoam, a non-disintegratable material.
Pass It On
When a message needs to get out to everyone in the office, try using electronic mail or simply circulate the memo instead of making a paper copy for each person.
Make use of the two-sided capability of copy machines. Print information on both sides of a paper to decrease the total pages required for the job. Change the machine’s default setting to double-sided printing so it will automatically save paper.
Put the Stickies Inside
Despite how much we all LOVE Post-It® notes, now you can save some trees by putting those sticky notes on the inside of the screen instead. Download a free copy of Stickies software and create post-its of a technological form.
Even though exhaustion has set in by the end of the work day, remember to turn off the lights before leaving and shut down your computers! This simple act saves over 700 watt hours of energy.
Buy In Bulk
For the supplies that you must have, buy large quantities once rather than smaller quantities more often. This cuts down on packaging waste and natural resources used in transporting of materials.
2. Reuse the items you collect!
Cross It Off
Decrease the need for envelopes by reusing old ones to send mail internally through an office. Cross off the previous name, write the new recipient, and send the envelope off on a new adventure.
Instead of tossing old folders in the trash, reverse them so the tab is cleared, or simply add a new label on top of the old one, and reuse the folder.
Start With a Clean Slate
Reformat a disk or delete its files to use it again, or pass it on to someone who needs it. Use only compact discs labeled as CD-RW (CD-R can only record information once, whereas a CD-RW is re-writable).
Set up an office exchange center where employees drop off their extra items, such as rubber bands, paper clips, binders, and folders, to be traded for things they need. Don't just buy new if you don't have to.
Refill It Up
Buy refillable pens and mechanical pencils. The extra upfront cost will pay for itself over time when the only purchases needed afterwards are for inexpensive ink and lead refills.
***Reduce and reuse as much as possible before recycling. ***
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