How to Reduce Office Waste
These tips will save you money and reduce waste:
- Reuse file folders (reverse or re‐label)
- Keep mailing lists current.
- Eliminate unnecessary reports.
- Make notes/scratch pads from used paper.
- Proof documents on computer screen before printing.
- Select products with long warranties.
- Buy products that have recycled content.
- Buy products that have recycled packaging.
- Rent equipment that is only used occasionally.
- Return toner cartridges for refilling/rebuilding
- Practice preventive maintenance on all equipment.
- Buy products with minimized packaging (bulk).
- Reuse envelopes or use inter‐office envelopes
- Use central files to reduce the number of hard copies retained.
- Store documents on computers, instead of creating hard copies.
- Route or post memos instead of making multiple copies.
- Double‐side (duplex) photocopies to save paper, trees and postage costs.
- When possible, use electronic mail (e‐mail) for correspondence or for paying bills, rather than sending paper or making expensive long distance phone calls.
- Share technical journals, magazines, newspapers and phone books rather than receiving multiple subscriptions.
- Sell or give old furniture and equipment to other businesses, schools, community groups, charitable organizations, etc.
- Buying locally reduces protective packaging and costly transport.
- For drinking water, use a water distiller or water dispenser instead of buying small bottles of water. We could fill our bottles from the dispenser/water distiller and less plastic would be wasted. Even if the thousands of plastic bottles are recycled and reused somehow instead of going to the dump, the recycling process also carries cost to the environment.
- If it's recyclable, remember to put it in a Recycling Bin!
On the Road to a Greener Office ‐ Tips for Saving Paper
- Read information on‐screen rather than printing. If you must print, select only the page or section you need.
- Guilt. Consider adding a “think before you print” notice to your email signature such as: How many trees must be lost so you can print your e‐mail? Print responsibly. Please think & act ’sustainable’ ‐ print only if required. Save Paper! Before printing this email STOP and think: is it necessary? Printing e‐mails is usually a waste of scarce resources. Please consider your environmental responsibility.
- Route Memos and Newsletters. Instead of making a copy for each person, route one copy around the office.
- Re‐Use old one‐sided printouts as scratch paper or notepads
- Track Changes. Take advantage of onscreen editing features when making changes to draft documents and send the new draft electronically.
- Use both sides of the paper. When copying, choose the “one‐sided to two‐sided" or “two‐sided to two‐sided” options. Many of the printers in the building are equipped with duplexers; which means they can print double‐sided.