We’ve all heard the advice for helping businesses reduce waste: Print double sided! Recycle scrap paper! Provide coffee mugs instead of paper cups! So, in the interest of reducing, reusing and recycling at work, I thought I’d share my favorite recommendations on the Top Five Ways to Reduce Waste from the Comfort of your Own Cubicle.
1. Think Before You Print: It sounds obvious but sometimes we forget to ask ourselves if we really need a hard copy of a document or if we can edit it on the screen first and then print a final. The fewer sheets of paper that come off the printer and end up stashed in a folder, never to be seen again, the better!
2. Reusable Water Bottles – Not Just for The Gym Anymore: Keep a reusable water bottle on your desk and not only will you find yourself closer to drinking eight glasses of water every day, you’ll also get the added benefit of several trips back to the water cooler to visit colleagues along the way.
3. Turn it All Off: At the end of the day, shut down. Completely. Your computer worked hard for you so let it take a break too and shut everything off at night so it doesn’t suck energy until the next morning.
4. Coffee Mugs Make Great Conversation Starters: Ever wondered what you were going to do with that kitschy tourist mug that your great aunt brought back from Florida? Now you know – bring it to the office and reuse it for coffee, tea, hot chocolate, etc. and trade stories with your colleagues about where they got their favorite mugs.
5. Be a Squeaky Wheel: If your company doesn’t buy recycled office supplies, ask why not. If the faucet in the restroom is leaky, see if building maintenance can fix it. If there is leftover lunch from a meeting, send out an email to co-workers to help themselves to leftovers so it doesn’t go to waste. Sometimes, it just takes one person to notice that there’s a better way and everyone can reap the benefits.
If we all make the effort to individually reduce, reuse and recycle at the office every day, we’ll make great strides toward reducing our businesses’ carbon footprints. And – even better – we’ll save money and add to the bottom line.
Have more ideas that you want to share about how you reduce, reuse and recycle at work? Post comments here and share your thoughts!