How to Reduce Office Waste

More and more people are now aware of the impact of our usual daily lives on the environment. Fortunately, people are starting to move to a “greener” life. A lot of people now know and do composting, recycling, and reducing waste at home. The challenge is, can we also do that in our offices? 

There are a lot of opportunities for an office to go green these days. From adjusting the office’s lighting to choosing environmentally friendly office supplies. But the easiest way to start going green is to reduce office waste. 

Reducing waste is important in protecting our environment. Not only that, but it will also conserve resources, prevent pollution, and save money. Even if the company isn’t making big changes to help with the green campaign, there are simple and easy to do ways to reduce waste in the office.  

Reduction of Paper Waste

The most common office waste? Paper.

According to the Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance, an average worker uses around 10,000 sheets of paper each year. It is accounted to be worth forty percent of office garbage. Reducing paper waste will make the biggest impact on your office’s aim to reduce waste. 

Here are some ways to reduce paper waste: 

  • Use both sides of the paper as much as possible. 
  • Go paperless with some of your transactions like bills and banking. It is convenient and is more manageable.  
  • Share documents through email. It is free and faster than having documents printed. Have a printed email only when it is needed.
  • Reuse used paper as notepads. 
  • Reuse packing envelopes and parcels. Have a place where you store them so you can use it anytime by replacing the labels. 
  • Use cloth hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom instead of paper towels. Washing them may take effort but it will surely reduce paper waste. 

Have a Paper Recycling Bin

Having a recycling bin could lessen paper waste. Here’s a tip: place paper recycling bins near your employees’ reach. That way it would be visible to them and be reminded that they need to recycle. 

Print Smarter

Have your printers set to automatically print on both sides of the paper. This way the usage of paper will lessen up to fifty percent. You can also have signage posted on walls that would encourage employees to print only the things that are needed to be printed like signed documents. 

Another tip, if you do need to print out documents, set the printer settings to fast or draft. It will lower the amount of ink you use for printing. Buy refillable ink cartridges instead of throwing it away when it is empty. Doing these things would lessen waste and save your company money from availing too many materials. 

Use Reusable Cups and Dishes

The use of paper plates, styrofoam cups, and plastic utensils is a growing environmental problem. In the US it is estimated that people use fifty billion coffee cups a year. The production and disposal of these single-use cups have a negative impact on our environment. Instead of spending on single-use cups and dishes, it is more practical and more environmentally friendly to purchase real dishes and utensils.  

Encourage Litterless Lunch

If you do not want to have real dishes and utensils in your office, you may opt for litterless lunch. Litterless lunch encourages your employees to pack their own lunch in Tupperware instead of in paper or plastic bags. It is a big step to reduce waste in the office.

Tip: Buy your employees a reusable lunch bag. 

Buy in Bulk

Avoid purchasing individual packs for coffee, tea, creamer, snacks, and cleaning supplies. Buy them in bulk. It would save you money while reducing plastic waste. 

Reuse Materials

There are some items in your office that can be used more than once. Take advantage of them.

Folders and binders are some of the items that can be used more than once. Reuse folders and binders by replacing the sticker or label at the top. Reusing these materials will definitely save you money while reducing office waste.      

Recycling Center

Having a visible recycling center in your office will encourage your employees to recycle more often. These recycling centers will have your employees sort their waste and make them more aware of how much waste they have. 

Your company will not only save money but also earn some by selling recyclables.  

Water Filter

Have a water filter installed. This way your employees will not buy bottled drinks when they are thirsty. You can just buy your employees a pitcher that they could fill with water.     

Reusable Water Bottle

Ban plastic bottles in your office. In the US there are around thirty-eight billion water bottles that end up in the landfill every year. Imagine how much waste that is. Encourage your employees to bring their own water bottles or own cups instead of buying bottled water. 

Here’s a tip: prove a reusable water bottle with your company’s logo. This will not only promote your company but it will also promote wellness and help lessen plastic waste. It will also promote sustainable habits to your employees while keeping them away from spending much on bottled beverages.      

Offer incentives

Make it a competition! Set a goal for every department and make it fun. Offer incentives to departments who will reach the target recycling goals. Have an award to encourage them and to make it a more lively challenge.  

Recycling will not only save you some money. It will also create a sustainable habit for your employees, and reduce waste in the environment. 

It may be a difficult habit to sustain as most would lose momentum in the long run. But you have to remember how much reducing waste will reduce office cost while saving the environment. 

There are a lot more ways to reduce waste in the office but you can start by trying these tips. If you need help, contact us.