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10 Waste Reduction Ideas For The Office

Posted by Emily Bellmore on 12/24/2014 to Public Education

Want to know how you can reduce the amount of waste in your office? Here are 10 ways you can make an impact at your workplace. Save time, money and energy with these quick tips.

1. Carpool to work. If your office is too far away, and riding your bike or walking to work is not an option, consider carpooling with your fellow co-workers. There are plenty of Park and Ride locations throughout the state. Meeting at these spots a few times a week, allows you to save gas, reduces your carbon footprint and also allows you to spend quality time with your co-workers.

2. Pack a lunch. Encourage your employees to bring their lunch to work in reusable containers. It's also a great idea to have reusable cups, plates and cutlery in the office to reduce paper and plastic waste.

3. Compost your food scraps. Vermont recently passed a law requiring all food scraps to be composted by 2020. By this time, all offices will require mandatory compost bins to help reduce the amount of trash that goes into our landfills. When you compost your food scraps, you're contributing to a greener way of life.

4. Reduce paper use. Offices can produce tons of paper waste every year. It's important to conserve the amount of paper you use at work. Print your documents on both sides of the paper and cut your consumption in half. You can always adjust your margin settings on the paper as well, to maximize your paper usage.

5. Save Energy. Make a difference on your energy consumption. Be sure to unplug any appliances or computers when not in use. Shut off all the lights in the office when you exit any room. Purchase compact fluorescent lightbulbs, they are more efficient and last longer than traditional bulbs.

6. Donate office supplies. If you have unwanted office supplies or furniture, consider donating them to a local school or nonprofit. You'll save money on disposable costs and help keep usable materials out of the trash.

7. Reduce Packaging. Packing and shipping can create a lot of waste. If possible, look for recycled packaging that's environmentally friendly. Select products in refillable containers and buy in bulk if you can. This will help lower the amount of packaging waste your creating and help keep costs low.

8. Take paperless notes. Ditch the office memo handouts and consider taking notes on a whiteboard or chalkboard. By doing so, you'll reduce the amount of paper waste and contribute to a more eco-friendly way of brainstorming. An easy solution to jot down your notes and erase or edit them on your own time without the waste.

9. Consider air dryers. Get rid of paper towel waste which can't be recycled and consider installing hand dryers. They are more environmentally friendly than paper towel rolls and use less energy.

10. Conduct a waste audit. A waste audit is an analysis of your company's waste stream. By conducting a waste audit, you can identify your company's current waste practices and how they can be improved. By doing so, this can reduce your waste management costs and create a more effective an efficient organization. This will contribute to better recycling efforts and conserves natural resources.

Do you have an office waste reduction success story? Share it with us!