Not only is good waste management an important environmental responsibility, it can serve as a way to reduce costs. You are in business to make money, and minimizing the expense of garbage can save you money.
- We still use more paper than we need to even though most of our information is digitized. Avoid using paper by emailing important documents to coworkers and clients, and using presentations rather than handouts at weekly staff meetings. To further reduce paper consumption, only print documents when you absolutely have to, and try to use both sides of the paper whenever possible.
- Stop incoming mail duplicates and catalogs addressed to former employees.
- Make memo pads from scrap paper with only one side of printing.
- Reuse manila envelopes, index cards, hanging folders and file folders.
- “Close the loop”-products made from recycled materials are created using less energy and save extra waste that would typically end up in landfills. Buy products with the highest recycled content you can find.
- Recycle printer cartridges, batteries, and lightbulbs.
Breakroom, Cafeteria and Restroom
- Promote the use of reusable mugs, dishes and cutlery.
- Buy cleaning supplies in bulk.
- Buy recycled content toilet paper and paper towels.
- Keep a disposable-free survival kit, including reusable coffee mugs, water bottles, dishware and shopping bags, at your desk to help you reduce waste before it starts.
- Use shredded paper, instead of styrofoam peanuts, for packing.
- Ask vendors to reduce packaging in your orders.
- Return packing materials to vendors for reuse whenever possible.
Take the Next Steps
- Start a “Green Team”. Sharing eco-minded ideas with coworkers is a great way to make sure your whole office gets in on the waste-reducing action.
- Create a centralized cabinet in which employees can place usable items they no longer need so that other employees can utilize them.
- Make the waste reduction ethic intrinsic to your business by including it in new-employee orientation and continually refreshing the message company wide.
- Nominate your company for an Excellence in Recycling Award to get the credit you deserve for all your hard work!