How to Reduce Paper and Non-Paper Office Waste

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Going green is a buzzword that is already circulating in the business sector. It’s a socially conscious initiative that many companies have already implemented in many ways. It’s not uncommon, however, for some businesses to struggle in finding the right strategy that fits their needs and values. But if you’re looking at one of the simplest ways to make your business “green”, you don’t need to look further than waste reduction.

Reducing office supplies and paper waste

Stationery supplies and other types of paper and office supplies are essential in every business. The most radical way to reduce waste is to go paperless, which is nearly impossible. So how can you reduce paper use? Here are the best actionable suggestions.

  • Encourage employees to practice editing before printing documents. This will help eliminate draft copies. But in case of important paperwork where drafting is required, you can collect used paper and print on the blank side. This will maximise use before the paper gets discarded.
  • Make digital storage a standard office practice. Since most companies today make use of cloud programs and apps, there’s no need to worry about storage space.
  • When it comes to reports, you may use emails and spreadsheets instead. Print reports only when they need to be signed.
  • You can recycle envelopes by putting a label on top of the old ones.
  • Do what is necessary to remove the company’s address from unnecessary mailing lists. This will reduce the need to dispose of promotional mail.
  • Make recycling part of the company’s “green” culture. There are companies that specialise in picking up shredded paper for recycling.
  • For announcements, make use of an online bulletin instead of posting printed copies throughout company premises.

How to reduce non-paper office supply waste

A majority of office supply waste is composed of paper products. But, some residuals also come from other supplies such as gadgets, furniture, and other peripherals. You can address the waste problem by reducing solid waste.

  • Consider buying supplies without packaging. This may be a challenge because of delivery safety, but buying from a local supplier helps. Instead of paying for shipping, your company can pick-up the items to reduce or avoid packaging waste.
  • If you can’t avoid packaging, you may want to ask the supplier to use a returnable container.
  • In case of equipment your company uses occasionally, you may want to consider renting instead of buying. This will not only reduce costs and waste but also help eliminate the need to allot storage space.
  • When buying equipment such as computers and furniture, always buy quality ones. The longer the equipment lasts, the less you have to worry about waste and replacement.

Waste reduction can also become part of employee and company culture in different ways. For example, you can stop supplying disposable pantry cups and utensils. This will encourage employees to bring reusable cups and silverware. Lastly, practice recycling plastic bottles and metal cans. Make it a point to have designated bins for these recyclables, making them easier to bring to the recycling centre.