Ways to Reduce Waste in the Office

Did you know, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year?  What about the fact that the United States has less than five percent of the world’s population, yet consumes 30 percent of the world’s paper? The U.S. EPA estimates that paper and paperboard account for almost 40 percent of our garbage. A large amount of this waste can be prevented by implementing a workplace plan to reduce waste. Here are some helpful tips in creating a greener office environment:

  • Print double sided documents
  • Send any company communications through email only, or post to bulletin board
  • Use economy print settings on printers and copiers
  • Use personal mugs instead of paper cups
  • Purchase products with the maximum post-consumer recycled content available
  • Purchase refillable ink cartridges
  • Order office supplies in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Buy paper that is produced by a company with a stated commitment to environmental stewardship and minimizing ecological impacts while ensuring long-term sustainable production.
  • Purchase and specify post-consumer recycled content papers. This helps expand the recycling market and assure recycling programs stay viable and effective. It also closes the loop by diverting waste from landfills and incinerators.
  • Keep your mailing list updated. Evaluate your data, delete duplicates, remove those who have requested to be off, and target your mailings to specific audiences.
  • Reuse packing material whenever possible.
  • Use less paper – go digital whenever posible
  • Invest in rechargable batteries
  • Unsubscribe from junk mail sent to the office
  • Use a dual stream recycling system— separate plastic, glass, metal and paper products.


If you haven’t already downloaded our Office Recycling Checklist, you can find it here.

A small investment in planning and maintaining an office recycling program will make you, your employees and your clients feel better about having a positive impact on the environment.


image via Epsos.de on flickr