How To Waste Less At The Office

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Many businesses are putting more effort into reducing their carbon footprint and being more environmentally friendly. An easy way to have less of an impact on the environment as a business is to find simple ways to reduce waste in the office. Find ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle in your workplace to save costs and be greener. 

Drawing of a man tossing trash into a garbage can

Photo by Gary Chan on Unsplash

Cut out single-use drink containers for guests

If you have clients come to the office for meetings, don’t offer water in a plastic bottle or disposable plastic cup. In most cases, even with good intentions, these don’t find their way to the recycling bin but are instead get forgotten in meeting rooms. Somebody will then empty them down the sink and throw the bottle or cup in the regular trash. This wastes both water and plastic. Instead, offer everyone who comes in a drink in a mug or glass. Why not get branded mugs made for your business? 

Use water coolers

This is a great alternative to using bottled water. Buy a water cooler to reduce plastic waste. Don’t buy sleeves of single-use plastic cups, and instead provide staff with reusable water bottles or glasses. 

Bring lunches in reusable containers

Encourage your team to bring in lunch from home instead of buying lunch in takeout packaging. Paper and paperboard make up a huge amount of the waste generated from most workplaces, which means it isn’t being recycled. Provide plenty of fridge space so people have somewhere to store their lunch. You could consider providing branded cooler bags as an employee gift to make bringing in lunch even easier. 

Take paperless notes

Instead of taking notebooks into meetings, take a tablet or laptop and type out your notes. This reduces paper waste, as notes are usually thrown out after they have been typed up. Typing them saves you time, and reduces paper waste. You can do most things with cloud-based documents too, making sharing meeting notes even easier. You can even sign pdf online if you need a signature.

Use both sides of the paper, when printing, copying, or writing notes

Most office printers can be set up to automatically print on both sides of the paper. Change your printer settings to do this. If you do need to take notes on paper, write on both sides so you can use a lot less paper.

Reuse one-sided misprints for scrap paper or plain paper faxes

Faxes only use one side of the paper, so paper that has a misprint on can be used as long as one side is blank. Scrap paper is often needed for quick notes. People will often grab a new sheet of paper out of the printer to scribble down some notes without thinking, so put misprints or other waste paper in an easily-reach box. 

Send emails instead of paper memos

Paper memos are wasteful. Send emails instead for as much of your communication as you can. Email is perfect for communication in and outside of the office, as you have a record of everything that has been sent, whereas paper memos can easily be lost.

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