In today’s world, eco-friendly efforts are becoming increasingly popular and more and more individuals and companies are adopting various green practices. There are a variety of opportunities for going green at the office, such as selecting green friendly office supplies. Various retailers offer environmentally friendly products and many provide information if products are made from recycled materials, have reduced chemical content, or are biodegradable.
Eco-Friendly Ideas for Office Supplies
- Buy from companies that offer a variety of green products that can be recycled after use. Examples of recyclable products include cardboard binders, push pins, and notepads.
- Look for products that use less materials and can be refilled such as staple-less staples and pens and white correction fluid that can refilled many times.
- Reduce the use of products that do not have green alternatives such as rubber bands.
- Buy products that are produced from recycled materials such as plastic and paper items. For example, you can visit websites that sell printer ink from remanufactured ink and toner cartridges. Such purchases will support green friendly efforts, and there are many different eco-friendly office supplies out there.
Eco-Friendly Ideas for Computers
- Keep computer equipment up-to-date, because newer options save more energy than even devices that are less than two years old.
- Select energy saving computers and monitors when purchasing new equipment, such as Energy Star compliant options.
- Consider replacing desktop computers with laptops, as laptops are more energy efficient.
- Turn off and unplug computers when not in use.
- Recycle used computers.
Eco-Friendly Ideas for Printers
- Purchase printers with energy saving features.
- Purchase and use recycled paper. Many manufacturers offer many different options to meet all types of printing needs.
- Save paper and ink by limiting the amount of printing and put signs around the office to remind employees to only print when necessary.
- Save paper by printing on both sides of the paper.
- Buy laser toners instead of ink cartridges, as they do not need to be replaced as frequently.
- Use special software to help save on paper, ink, and toner.
- Select options with multi-purposes such as equipment that works as a printer, fax, and copy machine.
- Turn the printer on only when in use.
Eco-Friendly Ideas for Office Furniture
- Select recycled and reclaimed furniture from pre-owned sources.
- Choose options that are made from materials such as wood, metal, and recycled aluminum, steel, and plastic. Also, look for products grown under sustainable conditions such as cork or bamboo.
- Search for office furniture that does not contain toxic chemicals and have been manufactured using green practices.
- Buy from local sources to reduce the costs and pollution of shipping.
- Choose sustainable furniture options that are certified by third party organizations such the Business Institutional Furniture Manufacturer’s Association (BIFMA) or the Forest Stewardship Council.
- Purchase products that serve more than one purpose such as a large table that can be used for conferences and employee lunches.
Other Tips for Greening Your Office
- Set up a recycling center in a common area of your office such as separate containers for paper, plastic, and metal.
- Place paper recycling boxes near all printers, copiers, and fax machines.
- Use recycled paper coffee filters or purchase a coffee maker that does not use paper filters.
- Encourage employees to use glass and ceramic mugs, glasses, and dishes instead of disposable options.
- Use green cleaning products that do not damage the environment.
- Incorporate plants into your office to help recycle the air.
- Use email as much as possible instead of printing and faxing to reduce paper use.
- Circulate inter-office documents instead of providing all employees with an individual copy.
- Use overhead projectors, white boards, and multi-media presentations for meetings instead of printing materials.
- Use rechargeable batteries in equipment to reduce waste and save money over time.
Written by Inkpal
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