Katrina Hatchett


No matter what line of business you are in, there is a strong movement towards being increasingly green. You may already have a recycling program in place, but there are so many more things you can introduce to your office that will help increase your recycling efforts and decrease your carbon footprint. Here are eight tips you can begin implementing right away that can help.

#1: Add More Items
There is much more than just paper and cans that can be recycled. E-waste is a huge contributor to landfills, but much of it can actually be recycled, reclaimed or repurposed. Check with your municipality to see what types of items you may be able to save from being dumped in a landfill, including batteries, light bulbs and printer cartridges.

#2: Keep Organics Separate
Reduce the waste your office is producing instantly by adding in a separate bin for organic waste. All it is going to cost you is the price of a second bin, but it could have a significant impact on the overall amount of waste. Food scraps, coffee grinds and paper towels can all be tossed into the compostables bin.

#3: Put Recycling Bins in A Central Area
Individual bins may seem like a great idea, but they make it convenient for employees to just throw everything into the same bin, without taking the time sort things. Central bins that are labeled with what can go in each make it easy for workers to separate all of their recyclables. “People tend to be lazy, so if there’s a bin sitting under their desk, chances are everything is going straight into that bin with zero thought,” explains Project Manager at BritStudent and 1Day2Write, Kathleen Rimmer.

#4: Get on Board with Litter-Less Lunches
Promote litter-less lunches in the office by setting employees up with reusable lunch bags and containers. “You won’t be able to control whether or not they actually use them, but if they have them on hand, they are more likely to actually put them to use. Giving people the tools they need sets them up for success,” outlines Marketer Frederick Williams of WriteMyX and NextCourseWork. Encourage employees to be more mindful of the waste they are bringing into the office and brainstorm options for reducing that lunchtime waste.

#5: ReuseCoffee Cups
It is hard to get through the workday without at least a few cups of coffee, but that does not mean that disposable cups need to be in the picture. Encourage employees to bring their favorite mugs into work and set up a coffee machine in a common area. It is just one small change, but you may actually be shocked at the amount of waste this one small adjustment can reduce.

#6: Less Waste Coming In = Less Waste Going Out
Rather than figuring out ways to recycle what you are bringing into the office another approach is to simply reduce the amount of stuff coming in from the start. Take a look at your suppliers and see what you can do to control the amount of waste they’re sending you, in terms of packaging, etc. Let your vendors know that you are trying to reduce your waste, so they can help your efforts on their end.

#7: Upcycling Supplies
Rather than tossing things that are not being used at the moment, but still have some life left in them, try setting up an Upcycling Station, where employees can go to for supplies first. Instead of always ordering everything new, you can reduce a lot of waste simply by using what you have already got.

#8: Ditch Paper
You may not be able to completely eliminate your paper use, but perhaps you can drastically reduce the amount you are using. If things do need to be printed, proofread them first on the computer screen. Printing things on both sides, if you are able to, will instantly half the amount of paper you are using.

Whenever possible, send announcements, memos and other internal communications through e-mail. Rather than sending customers paper copies of their invoices, work with your accounting and customer service departments to change over to a paperless, online billing system. Inform your customers and suppliers about these changes and the reasons behind them.

With an increased push towards being green and reducing carbon footprints, it is a great idea to get your workplace in on the movement right away. Using these tips, you can reduce a great deal of your office waste with very minimal effort in most cases.

As a lifestyle blogger at Academic Brits and a writer for Origin Writings, Katrina Hatchett immerses herself in a number of business projects. Also a contributing writer for PhDKingdom, she enjoys the challenge in identifying project problems and determining solutions for those problems, with her goal being to improve the effectiveness of communication.