As any business owner can tell you, the average business office is an incredibly wasteful place when it comes to supplies. From the paper in the copier through the pens on the waiting area table to the clamshell containers in the break room fridge, everything is considered disposable and utterly replaceable. It is a sad state of affairs since many of these items do not degrade easily and add significant amounts of unnecessary bulk to our nation’s landfills.
A far more economically feasible and environmentally sound approach to office supplies will revolve around the use of green products. These items are just as dependable and inexpensive as their non-green counterparts and can fill a variety of roles in the 21st century office. For example:
The vast majority office products are intended for internal use so, in most cases, looks don’t count. Purchasing post-consumer notebooks and files, reusing paperclips and other office essentials and printing on both sides of a sheet of paper are three of the simplest things you can do to have a dramatic and direct effect on the amount of supplies that your office consumes. Furthermore, don’t forget that utilities are also another office consumable and be sure to turn off lights and computers at the end of the day.
Similarly, cleaning supplies are another area where a measure of moderation in their use will have significant and long-lasting effects on the environment. Cleaning supplies are, by their very nature, poisonous. Using only the required amount will not only meet your needs, it will save money for your business and do less damage to the surrounding environment.
While some employee break rooms are clean and functional, they are not really intended for fine dining. Most breaks are short, sweet and to the point. For this reason, lunchroom supplies are used for just seconds and then rapidly thrown in the waste bin. The use of napkins made from recycled paper, disposable paper plates, utensils and reusable clamshell containers should be high on any environmentally responsible person’s list of lunchroom supplies.
Photo source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stevenagata/4094263287/
The Environmental Bonus
The use of green products for your business may seem like a trivial and unimportant activity but multiply it by every business in the United States, and it takes on massive proportions. By using a wide variety of reusable or recycled products you are not only doing your bit for the planet and your neighbors, but also probably saving yourself quite a bit of money.
Heather Beleno is a part of an elite team of writers who have contributed to hundreds of blogs and news sites.