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All on Reusing Office Supplies and Recycling Them

Office Supplies Reuse

If you are a business owner, you likely want to improve the bottom line of your business while still maintaining a role in preserving the sanctity of the environment – and you likely do this through limiting the office supplies your office is using each month. The easiest and fastest method of doing this is by encouraging the lessening of the resources you have and reusing them more.

It is difficult to keep purchasing stationery, for instance – costs are high, especially if the stationery is of high quality and is among the most valuable office resources that you use regularly. There is some good news though – it is not difficult to find a good strategy of reusing the supplies you have in your office. All you need is to incorporate some teamwork, as well as perseverance and organization.

Here are some ways you can use to achieve that goal and promote more environmental responsibility in your organization.

Get everyone in your company involved by holding a company meeting

Office Supplies Reuse

The best way to begin environmental responsibility initiatives in your office or organization is to get all people on board. In your company meetings, you can talk to everyone about creating a waste reduction initiative – with the aim of cutting costs, as well as being environmentally responsible. Aim to point out how the effort of all people in the company can go a long way to reducing waste, and how this will grow over time and create a difference.

To make it even more appealing, you can use the amount of savings to eventually give the employees some benefits, like buying lunch for them or throwing an office party.

Appointing a volunteer to lead the recycling program

When you decide to set some goals of reuse, then you can appoint a volunteer to help with managing the progress of the program. They will also communicate the recycling procedures to the rest of the staff regularly.

There is something to keep in mind when appointing this person – ensure they have sufficient resources and the full support of everyone in the organization, to make the program successful.

Reuse items from the general office

Office Supplies Reuse

For any older items in the office, especially stationery items such as rubber bands, pencils, pens, paper clips, folders, and binders, you can reuse them. This also applies to shipping supplies such as Styrofoam pellets, packing paper, and boxes, as well as old papers. For any of these items, you can position them in a designated central place in your office, and then encourage your employees to ‘shop’ there when they need these items at work. The reusable and everlasting notebooks like Rocketbook would help in reducing the usage of notebooks in the office for preparing lists, Planning, etc.

It is also possible to remove disposable things in your lunchroom or break room – do this through requesting your employees to donate any of their old home utensils to the office kitchen, instead of you continuously making expenses for these paper plates and disposable cups. Additionally, purchase items such as sugar, coffee, creamer, and tea in bulk and store them in the office kitchen, rather than purchasing individual sachets or packets and spending more money.

If possible, use rechargeable batteries for your electronics

You do not need to keep recycling batteries all the time – you can actually reduce the number you recycle through using rechargeable electronics and batteries. This can include devices such as torches, projectors, and digital cameras. While these batteries might initially cost more, they will ultimately reduce waste and save you money in the long term.

Monitor the supply cabinet

Office Supplies Reuse

While this might sound extreme, the limitation of access to the office’s supply cabinet can go a long way to getting a handle on supplies, especially those that are commonly wasted. You can do this through a variety of ways, which include:

Limiting access to the supply room to one person. You give them a key and encourage the rest of the employees to see them if they need something. You can then hold them accountable for the supplies flows.

Encourage reusing of items by posting a sign on the cabinet, and encourage employees to exchange items they do not like instead of throwing them away.

Final thoughts

The process of ‘going green’ does not just mean participating in environmental activities outside the office, but also encouraging sustainability from within the office. To make it even more effective, get all employees on board and educate them on the policies at hand.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 26th July 2020.

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