Whilst improving your personal recycling habits can be tricky, convincing the rest of the office can prove even more difficult. However, whether you’re facing stubborn bosses, paper hoarders or technophobes, we’ve rounded up our best tips to create an environmentally friendly workspace.
A printing problem
Printing has become second nature to many office workers, but workplace waste can easily be halved by simply reducing the amount we unnecessarily print. It goes without saying to only print documents that definitely require a physical copy. Otherwise, stick to making digital versions of everything: save employee handbooks as PDFs to be downloaded at leisure, make use of sharing sites like Dropbox and Google Drive for collaborative work, and take down meeting minutes on a tablet using tools like EverNote or the Post-It app.
If you really need to put pen to paper to get those creative juices flowing, why not opt for a whiteboard? Brainstorm using this effective and reusable resource – if you need to save your ideas for later, capture them with a phone camera!
Choosing reused or recycled furniture when kitting out your office could not only save you heaps of cash, but also lead to a greener working environment. Meanwhile, investing in high quality technical equipment that’s unlikely to break will decrease your e-waste in the long run. Old copiers, fax machines and computers are hard to recycle, which adds to the growing landfill problem, so either buy secondhand or purchase reliable equipment.
Reuse your waste
Of course, some workplace rubbish is inevitable, but there’s an array of ways that we can put it to another use before it lands in the bin. For example, keep a scrap paper box somewhere in the office and reuse the paper for rough notes or reminders. Once the paper can no longer be used for writing on, shred it and use it for packing shipments.
If your company doesn’t post anything, get in contact with a local farmer or composting company. Waste cardboard and paper works perfectly when creating organic fertiliser, and you’ll be helping out the local community – it’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Location, location, location
The hardest part of creating a green office may be convincing stubborn work colleagues. Make it easy for them by placing handy recycling bins in easily accessed places such as next to the printer or copier.
You could also produce a list of all materials that can be recycled in your area, as many may just not know which items go in which bin.
Everyone loves a freebie, so why not introduce your new eco-friendly scheme by handing out some reusable coffee mugs, shopping bags and lunch boxes. This way, your fellow employees will be more likely to come round to the green way of thinking.
Finally, mass email these actionable tips to encourage everyone to jump aboard the environmentalist bandwagon!