5 Ways You Can Recycle at the Office

5 Ways You Can Recycle at the Office

A majority of Americans are concerned about the environment and want to do all they can to reduce their carbon footprint. While you may be doing a wonderful job at home, you may be shocked at the senseless waste that goes on in your office. If you are interested in recycling, talk to your supervisor in a friendly meeting and see what kind of things can be implemented at work. With the efforts of management and the office staff, you can do your part to have a greener work space.

1. Paper

Paper is the top staple in office supplies. According to a report by the Sierra Club, only 53% of the 20.7 billion tons of paper we produced was recycled in 2013. The report estimates that such a paper production would have required between 55-110 million trees. That number can be pretty startling when you consider all the paper that is needlessly pitched in your office trash can. There are some ways that you can make a big difference in paper reduction/recycling in your office:

• If you do not need fax confirmations, turn the function off.

• Keep a box handy by the copier for bad copies. Instead of throwing them away, put them in the box for recycling, or reuse the blank side.

• Self-sticking notes are a waste of money and paper. Use your paper cutter and cut up used paper and make your own scratch pads. You can always use a paper clip or a bit of tape if the note needs to be attached to a paper.

• If you work in an office that must shred personal information forms, make sure the shredding company you use recycles the shreds responsibly.

2. Computer Files vs. Paper Files

Most companies are going to paperless systems as much as possible. If you have a secure firewall and backup system in your company, you will save a lot of trees by keeping records on computers rather than paper. It also reduces the need for so many filing cabinets in the office.

3. Pop Cans

A lot of people like to keep a cold can of pop at their desk while they are working. Unfortunately, many of these aluminum cans end up in the company dumpster. You can designate a recycling box for pop cans in your office. Often times, recycling companies will pick them up for you at no charge.

4. Purchase Refurbished Equipment

If your office needs a computer, copy machine, or other office equipment, there is no need to buy it brand new. There are companies that completely refurbish office equipment and sell it at a fraction of the cost of new ones. You can also find quality office furniture at discount stores.

5. Hand Dryers/Hand Sanitizer

Millions of paper towels are used each year in company bathrooms and kitchens. While it is imperative to wash your hands after going to the restroom or before eating, you may be kinder to the environment by investing in an air hand dryer. If you dry them completely under the dryer, your hands can be just as clean as if using paper towels, says sharecare.com. For a bonus blast against germs, consider installing a hand sanitizer unit.

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