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Going Green: Mitigating Office Waste

RoadRunner, a leading business Waste Management agency, states that the average office worker uses two pounds of mixed paper products every day, somewhere in the vicinity of 10,000 sheets of paper per year, and goes through a little over 150 plastic water bottles each year. That’s a staggering amount of waste.

Employees are far more likely to misuse or abuse office supplies than they are their own supplies. You’re probably far more willing to just hit “print” on a multi-page document when you only need one or two pages at work than you are at home where you are solely tasked with buying and replacing the paper.

Waste, no matter how small, leads to inefficiency and will cost your business money.

So, at the office, what can you do to help curb waste?

The first step is to create the right atmosphere. We don’t mean hiring a Printer Manager who oversees who prints what and how many sheets. But doing little things to make team members aware that the business is trying to be more waste conscious.

One idea is to create a scrap paper heap, and to encourage people to use from this scrap pile of extra, unwanted printed paper when they need to scribble notes or write something down.

Many printers come with the ability to enable a secure printing feature. When set up, it’ll give each workstation a unique passcode that they need to enter at the printer in order to release their print job. It acts primarily as a privacy tool, so that important documents don’t get accidentally taken by the wrong person at a communal printer; but on a subconscious level, it can serve as a means to force people to think a second more before they hit print.

Something as small as making it company policy to print double-sided papers will dramatically trim back on paper waste.

Do you order bottles of water at the office? Instead, why not try to get yourself a water cooler? And splurge on buying branded reusable bottles and gift them to employees.

Creating an atmosphere where employees need to consider waste is the first step in helping to cut back on it. Then, go for broke and make an announcement.

People generally like to be a part of positive initiatives. Have a meeting to let everyone know that the business is going to try to go green and be more environmentally conscious. You’ll probably end up with more enthusiasm than you might think.

Plus, team members might have ideas and suggestions on how to make it workable for your business that you might not have considered. Encourage employees to reuse binders, folders, clips, and rubber bands.

Taking small steps to reduce office waste will help you save money on office supplies and will help you lessen the impact on the ecosystem.

Creating an action plan and inviting your team to join in is a great way to help your office reduce waste and will ultimately help your bottom line.

Have we convinced you to try to make your company green yet? If so, check back for our tips on how you move your operations into environmental sustainability.

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