How You Can Save the Planet with your Office

eco friendly office practicesConcern for the environment doesn’t stop at the workplace. While many of us try to be environmentally conscious in our lives at home, many office managers and suppliers are starting to realize how their workplaces are not very environmentally-friendly. Thankfully, there are tons of options for getting your office to go green AND save money on all those little office expenses. Get discount codes quill office supplies

Here are some starter ideas:

1. Cut Back on Supplies
All offices need supplies, but do you really need as much as you have? Printer paper in particular can be a big area where you spend more than you need. One strategy to minimize the waste of office supplies is to have shared supplies instead of having each desk have its own full set. Keeping your supply area clean and organized will help your employees stay efficient and inspire them to embrace a green approach. Also, only keep one supply area and put one person in charge of it, so that way you avoid over-ordering and stocking more than you need.

2. Turn Off the Lights
If there are areas or rooms in your office that don’t need lights on all the time, encourage your employees to turn them off—or install sensors so the lights come on only when people are in the room. Also consider swapping out traditional bulbs for greener alternatives. LEDs are pricier, but they last forever and use a fraction of the power, lowering your bill by up to 75% in the long run. You can also use CFLs, or Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs, but be aware that these bulbs contain mercury so should only be properly disposed of, not thrown into the regular recycling.

3. Recycle Your Paper
It may be cliché, but recycling all of your office paper is the best way to “go green.” It’s incredible the volume of paper waste a single office can generate in a month, so be sure that all that gets another chance at life instead of ending up in a landfill. Contract with a bulk recycling company to handle all the volume, and encourage your employees to use old (non-sensitive) documents as scratch paper for notes.

4. Buy Used Office Furniture
Not everything in your office need to be brand new. In most major cities there are office furniture liquidators that can supply your entire office with inexpensive, gently used furniture. This used furniture is often in excellent shape, and is usually only half the cost. Why let all that plastic and foam go into a landfill when someone could get many more years out of it? Just get it cleaned before rolling it into the office, and your employees will thank you!

5. Re-do the Break Room
Your employees likely use the break room multiple times a day, so it’s a great place to start making green change! Ditch the junk food and sodas, and provide healthy options for everyone instead. Buying in bulk will help you keep the cost down. Encourage your employees to bring mugs from home so you can cut back on paper cup waste.

6. Cut Back on the Printing
Printing more than needed is one of the biggest areas of waste in an office. It’s tempting to just keep printing everything out, but we need to ask ourselves: Is this really necessary? Emails rarely need to be printed out, and when things do need to printed, try printing only the necessary pages instead of the entire document. Even something as simple as that can drastically reduce the amount of wasted paper. Reducing the printer use also saves money on ink and electricity in the long run, so use your printer wisely!

7. Purchase Refurbished Computers
While it may seem like only new computers are worth the investment, many reputable computer companies sell refurbished computers with full warranties at a fraction of the price. This is a great option to eliminate the amount of potentially harmful e-waste from going into a landfill. Refurbished computers have gone through an extensive upgrading and testing process, and with the full warranty, you’re guaranteed to get the results you need.

8. Donate Old Equipment
Keep the chain of recycling going by donating old furniture, computers, or printers. There are likely many schools or non-profits in your area that could really use a computer or a printer, and what you have to offer could really be put to good use. Even if your office needs something newer or more powerful, there are those in need who would love to have it, so don’t throw it out!

9. Recycle Printer Cartridges
Although we’ve all done it, printer cartridges cannot simply be thrown away in the garbage. They need to go through a specialized recycling system, so they can’t go in the regular recycling bin either! Go to your printer manufacturer’s website to find out the best way to ship old printer cartridges back to them for proper recycling. Many of the large manufacturers (Brother, HP, Epson) will provide you with special mailing pouches so you can send batches of ink and toner cartridges back to them. Many of them even offer discounts or subsidized mailers to help defray some of the cost!

10. Work Remotely
Having some of your employees work remotely is one of the best ways to reduce waste and energy use in the office. By not having as many people in the office, you will use fewer supplies and use less utilities like electricity and water. Also, the employees who work from home won’t have to commute, saving them gas and a ton of CO2!

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