Office Waste Reduction Tips and Ideas

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“Go Green”, “Green Business”, and “Green Office” are some of the buzzwords of current era. While more and more businesses are going green every day, many businesses are still lagging behind for not having enough ideas on waste reduction in office and workplace.

Here are some office waste reduction tips and ideas you can implement and declare your business or office “Green Business” or “Green Office”:

Paper Waste Reduction Tips

Maybe the best idea of reducing paper waste is declaring your office completely digital. You can simply say no to paper use. If that is not completely possible, you should identify for what purposes you have to use paper and for what purposes you can avoid paper use. Once you make the lists of both, simply make policies on only for what purposes paper can be used and publish as a notice.

If the nature of your business is such that you have to use paper for a number of purposes, here is how you can keep paper waste to minimum:

1. Encourage everybody in the office to edit on computers before printing. This will ensure no draft copies of documents will be printed. If you still think printing drafts is necessary, print them on unused side of paper that would otherwise be discarded.  

2. Store most of the office files on computers and computer disks.

3. Use both sides of a paper.

Set up computers to automatically print two-sided as well.

4. Use small paper pieces for short memos.

5. Consider not using cover sheets on faxes.

6. Get rid of needless reports and reduce report sizes.

7. Consider using light weight papers wherever possible.

8. Use used envelops by putting a label over the old address.

9. Make use of electronic and voice mail and avoid paper mail wherever possible.

10. Take necessary actions to decrease unsolicited mail.

11. Share and circulate documents, memos, reports and all other publications.

12. Post all office announcements in a central location.

13. Use single spacing and narrower margins for less important documents.

14. Refold and reuse file folders.

15. Try to find duplication on your mailing lists and avoid duplication.

16. Encourage employees to buy and use printers that print double-sided copies; to use electronic mails, narrow lined note pages; and to use fax machines that use plain papers.

17. Shred all the paper waste your office produce and reuse them for packaging or recycle scrap paper.

Non-paper Waste Reduction Tips

Although paper waste constitute largest portion of office waste, there are other wastes that you need to reduce as well. Implement following tips to reduce non-paper waste:

1. Always try to purchase products with reusable packaging, less packaging and if possible no packaging.

2. Request your office deliveries to be shipped in returnable containers and return the containers and cardboard boxes to the distributors.

3. Always ask the vendors to take packaging back; chances are they can reuse it.

4.  Consider renting equipment that you use only occasionally.

5. Always try to invest in high quality equipment that is durable and repairable.

6. Encourage employees to have reusable silverware, plates and cups at their desk. Encourage them to bring their lunch to work in reusable containers.

7. Select plant landscaping that requires low maintenance and produces less waste.

8. Recycle electronic equipment, batteries, plastic, metal cans, white paper and beverage containers. Consider having a partnership with a local recycler if your office generates huge amount of such materials.

It goes without saying, of course, that waste reduction is not the only thing that you need to declare for your business or office to truly be “Green”. The products and services your business offer should be environmentally friendly as well.

Increasingly, businesses are recognizing the value of focusing on the sustainability of their offerings to customers.