Saving the planet may be the last thing on your mind when ploughing through mountains of paperwork. Nevertheless, it’s extremely important and also very easy to reduce your waste at the workplace. Moreover, by reusing and recycling resources and materials, you’ll save the company heaps of money, which could even help your annual bonus.
Offices go through paper like there’s no tomorrow, and whilst paper is recyclable, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to cut down the amount we use. There are so many really simple ways to achieve this, which basically involve using paper more efficiently.
We now have a wealth of technology at our fingertips. So, instead of making up physical folders, try storing everything in an electronic file. If the documents need to be shared with the rest of your coworkers, there are plenty of online tools out there to help. Google Drive, Dropbox and many other similar apps allow you to create online folders that you can share with your colleagues – collaborating has never been so easy and accessible!
Replace the old dog-eared notepad with a smart electronic tablet. This way, you can quickly type up any notes from meetings on a built-in notebook app without contributing to the enormous landfill problem. If you’re a stickler for pen and pad, reduce your waste by reusing scrap paper for rough note taking. When you only use one side of the page, pop it to one side for later use, plus you can cut printing waste in half by changing the settings to duplex, or double-sided.
Sometimes, when it comes to upholding a brand, reusing office stationery is completely out of the question. Nevertheless, where appropriate, offices can make more of an effort to reuse valuable resources – not only is it cost-effective, but it also reduces your rubbish immensely.
Invest in some sticky labels to place across the addresses on old envelopes and remember to remove paperclips from documents before throwing them away. It would also be a good idea to encourage your staff members to purchase a reusable coffee mug for their morning latte – those daily Starbucks cups certainly add up in your bin. To add further incentive, some coffee chains offer discount to those eco-conscious members of the community who bring their own cup.
It’s hard to break bad habits, and implementing a recycling initiative at your workplace can be difficult, but it’s definitely not impossible. Ensuring that recycling is convenient will do wonders when increasing the amount employees save from landfill, so position recycling bins in visible, easily accessible spaces.
Another good idea is to remove all personal bins. This may cause initial grumbles but by having plenty of recycling bins for different materials dotted around the room, you will eventually change the way employees think before throwing things away (plus they’ll probably stretch their legs more often, which is good for individual wellbeing).
And remember, every little change can have a significant positive impact in the long run, so never stop thinking of new ways to reduce, reuse and recycle