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Get eco-friendly in your office

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Author: Lily Curle, Posted: Tuesday, 25th September 2018, 09:00

Whilst much of the eco-friendly living movement focuses on how we can cut down our waste and increase our use of recycled materials at home, businesses are often far less considered. However, the impact of businesses, even just offices, is as significant as the impact of our household. These tips will make your business and practices more eco-friendly than ever before!

In the work kitchen

If you use a machine such as a Nespresso, make sure to recycle the pods by using their recycling bag, and then either having it collected or leaving it at a designated area. If this isn’t an option for where you work, consider switching to capsules from other providers who create their pods from materials that can be recycled the usual way. Additionally, try to make this coffee in your kitchen as much as possible, to prevent the need for the single-use cups used in a coffee run!

If you are going to buy your coffee ready-made, consider taking a reusable cup with you – many shops will give you a discount for this, and some will now only accept reusables. Also consider cleaning the kitchen sink with more environmentally friendly chemicals, as natural ingredients are far better to be washed away than man-made chemicals which can kill water-borne life.

Try to encourage your colleagues to cut down on their waste by bringing homemade lunches to work to avoid excess packaging from shops. If they insist on buying meal deals every day and your office doesn’t have a full recycling system in place (plastic, cans, glass, etc.), at least ask them to take home their packaging to recycle. Once you all create the habit, it’ll be second nature and you’ll be producing far less waste.

In the office

The obvious advice for every business is to recycle your paper, as throwing it away is wasteful and unnecessary. Shredded paper is harder to recycle, so try to only shred confidential items and recycle the rest as usual. You could also try buying recycled paper for the purposes of printing/note making, as this is no more expensive and just the same quality as new paper.

Together these actions decrease the amount of trees needing to be cut down to make office supplies. Another thing to remember is before you print anything, consider if printing is really necessary. Could you email it to somebody, or pin it to your desktop for reference instead?

At your desk

Millions of disposable, plastic pens are thrown away everyday unnecessarily, merely because they weren’t worth the money spent on them. Instead opt for a better made brand which offers refills, as this minimises the amount of plastic used. Try to avoid buying items that aren’t technically necessary, especially if you know you have them but just can’t find them – you definitely don’t need another box of staples if you can’t be bothered to find them in the cupboard!

When corresponding with customers, try to use email over sending out letters, but if this is unavoidable, such as with customers who don’t use email, purchase recycled envelopes instead of new ones.

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