I Just Gotta Tell Ya
- The average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year =21 Million Tons of paper
- Americans to through 15 Million toner cartridges every year
- Office building are responsible for more than 10% of all water used in the US
- 10% of all the waste products produced by an office is food
1. Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk makes sense for a variety of reasons. You’ll save money over the long-haul. You’ll make less trips to the office supply store. You’ll also cut down on packaging such as cardboard boxes and plastic bags. Ordering supplies in bulk online will also get you lower or free shipping.
- Best Case Scenario- eliminate paper towels and use cloth cleaners. Stop Using Post-it notes
2. Reuse and Recycle Packaging
Regardless of how large your order is, you’re going to end up with packaging to dispose. Use Earth911 to find out where to recycle packaging. Before you do, though, consider ways it can be reused:
- Cardboard boxes can be used to ship packages or move items around, and they can be collapsed when not in use to take up little space.
- Plastic bags, bubble wrap and packing peanuts can be used to store and protect valuables.
- If you have too much, recycle by taking them to nearest Mailbox Station or other shipping office.
3. Spring for the Warranty
When you buy a new computer monitor or other electronic device, the warranty may not seem like a smart investment. But warranties let you repair your electronics instead of buying new ones, meaning less waste is created. Plus, the cost of the warranty will surely be less than buying a new product in two or three years.
- Best Case Scenario- Use a laptop- uses less energy than desk-tops
4. Search for Scrap
Paper clips are prime candidates for reuse, but eventually you may find they are ready for disposal. The upside of this is that they are made of steel, which is one of the most valuable recyclable products. The same goes for staples, which you can remove from unneeded paper and recycle.
These products can be recycled as scrap metal with your steel cans. If you are searching for other office supplies made of steel, pull out a magnet. If your metal is attracted to magnets, it can be recycled as scrap metal (provided that it’s entirely made of metal). Be careful – don’t get that magnet near your electronic equipment, or you’ll need to recycle more then just paper clips!
- If each of the UK’s 10 million office workersused one fewer staple a day, that could save 120 tonnes of steel a year
5. Refill Your Ink Cartridges
It takes a gallon of oil to manufacture one inkjet cartridge. You can significantly reduce this amount by having your cartridges refilled instead of buying a new one every time. Depending on the cartridge, you may get up to 10 uses by refilling the same cartridge. This will also save up to 75 percent of the cost of a new cartridge. Find an ink cartridge refiller using Earth911.
6. Go Paperless
According to the EPA, each employee in a typical business office generates 1.5 pounds of waste paper per day. Here are several ways to trim that number down:
- Print/make copies only when necessary
- Use a removable stick-on label for your fax cover sheets- best case eliminate faxes and or cover letters
- Set printers and copiers to print on both sides of paper
- Use Back side of paper when printing or make your own notepads
- Get rid of Junk Mail
- Eliminate Post-it Notes- use scrap paper and a paper clip instead
You can also look for paper with the highest percentage of recycled content. This gives you even more reason to recycle office paper.
7. Know Your Plastic Code
You may be surprised how many of your office supplies are made of plastic, from loose-leaf binders to CD jackets or the aforementioned packaging. Before you figure out how to recycle these materials, you need to know what type of plastic resin was used to make them. Check for a number inside a recycling symbol on your plastics, then use Earth911 to find out where to recycle that plastic.
8. Set Up an Office Recycling Program
The EPA estimates that up to 40 percent of our municipal solid waste comes from businesses.
Setting up an office recycling program will help divert much of your waste from landfills, and could save your company money on hauling fees for other office trash. If your whole office gets involved, you may be surprised how much you can recycle. Check out Earth911’s Business site for more eco-friendly business ideas as well.
9.) Green Your Kitchen
- Buy only Fair trade coffee, teas
- Use Your own mug,
- Eliminate napkins, paper plates, cups and utensils, coffee stirrers (save you money as well)
- Bring Your own lunch (saving money as well)
10.) Pens and Pencils;
- Americans Buy 5.1 Billion Pens every year
- 770 Tons of Plastic waste in Landfills
- Use refillable pens made from recycled materials.
- Avoid Rubber Bands
11.) Use Non-Toxic Cleaners
- Eco-over and 7th Generation
- Make your own (best and cheapest)
12.) Use LED or CFL Lighting
13.) Use Rechargeable Batteries
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