By now, the vast majority of people have become accustomed to not only recycling at home, but also making concerted efforts to reduce waste as much as possible. Doing the so-called ‘bit’ for the environment at the same time as saving a fair chunk of change is appealing enough to anyone, but what about in the workplace?
While few would admit it, the fact that it’s usually the company that foots the bill for all necessary supplies as works has a tendency to make employees a hell of a lot more wasteful than they would be at home. When someone else is paying and you yourself aren’t in charge of waste management, it’s far too easy to become complacent and lose sight of responsible behaviour.
It’s a pretty sad situation as not only is workplace waste a huge problem for the whole of the country right now, but making a huge difference often means nothing more than implementing and following a few hugely simple procedures.
Here’s a look at just a few examples of how office waste can be brought down to a minimum, without anyone having to go too far out of their way in the process:
1. When printing, get out of the habit of using just one side of the paper as any modern printer or copier can now be set up to use both sides. Doing so will literally cut the amount of paper you use in half.
2. Reuse any sheets of paper that have been printed on one side as scrap paper for everyday use. Staple a bunch of sheets together and you’ll never have to invest in rough notebooks again.
3. If documents have to be shredded, keep hold of the shredded paper and use it as a protective material when sending packages and boxing fragile items.
4. Keep as many boxes as you can when you receive items by mail as even if you have to stick a few sheets of paper on them, they can almost always be reused.
5. Try to stay away from colour printing unless it’s vital to do so as colour prints tend to use a lot more ink than standard black and white prints. And on the subject of printing, it’s a good idea to invest in printer cartridges that can be refilled rather than replaced – great for the environment and a fair bit cheaper too.
6. If printing a document for personal reference or as something of a draft, use a lower quality setting to reduce the amount of ink being used for each page.
7. Where possible, get rid of paper copies and keep online or digital copies of documents instead. From invoices to contracts and pretty much anything else across the board, it’s perfectly possible to cut paper use down to an absolute minimum.
8. Hold regular meetings with employees not only to communicate the importance of reducing waste, but also to allow for new ideas to be voiced and for those making stand-out contributions to be rewarded.