Green Office Guide II: Greening the Office Product Line

As an initiative to address sustainable developments in an effort to prolong the Mother Earth’s longevity and to ensure a healthy and resourceful world for our future progeny, we here at Shoplet.com have begun making efforts in providing guides and tools for businesses to ‘green’ the work environment. We’ve started by developing a 5-Part Green Office Guide series. In the first of our series, we discussed ways on how to reduce your carbon footprint at work. Today, we are presenting Part II of our Green Office Guide! The second development in our guide is focused on greening the office product line and why it is important in the workplace. Without further ado, let’s begin!

green office

A. Measuring the Environmental Impact of Switching to Green Products
(1) Recycled paper products
  • To determine the environmental impacts of various types of paper in terms of energy used, greenhouse gases and other air pollutants emitted, waste water volume and pollutants discharged, and solid waste generated, enter the appropriate data in the Environmental Defense Paper Calculator. This website provides charts and graphs showing the impacts of different types of paper (freesheet, groundwood, corrugated, and paperboard, etc.) with different recycled contents.
  • Comparisons:
  •  A pallet of copier paper (20-lb. sheet weight or 20#) contains 40 cartons at 50 pounds each and weighs one ton (2000 lbs). Each ton of such virgin paper (no post-consumer content) uses 24 trees.
  • One carton (10 reams) of virgin copier paper uses 0.6 trees.
  • One tree makes 16 2/3 reams of copy paper, or 8333 sheets.
    Source: Conservatree
(2) Computer notebooks, desktops and monitors
B. Increasing Your Use of Green Products

Using green products in your own operations (Check all that currently apply or interest you).

  • Paper and plastic products with significant quantities of post-consumer recycled content
  • Re-manufactured products (e.g., ink and laser toner cartridges)
  • Electrical products that are solar powered (e.g., calculators) or certified as energy efficient by Energy Star
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs and other energy efficient lighting
  • Products that are reusable, rewritable, refillable, rechargeable, more durable or repairable
  • Products that are recyclable
  • Cleaners and solvents that are nontoxic; non-VOC (volatile organic compound); biodegradable; water-based; ammonia-, phosphate-, and chlorine free; and derived from renewable resources rather than petroleum
  • Detergents, cleaners and other liquids in concentrate, which minimizes packaging
  • Writing instruments with non-toxic inks or other marking fluids
  • Furniture, carpets, and paints that do not emit harmful levels of VOCs from adhesives or finishes
  • Products made from plant-based materials
  • Compostable items, such as garbage and grocery bags
  • Multi-purpose electronic equipment (e.g., combination printer-scanner-fax machine)
  • Bins for collecting recyclable materials
  • Power strips and other devices that enable you to manually or automatically cut power when not needed
  • Products certified by reputable third parties as being environmentally superior in specific ways, such as those noted above (See the Green Glossary for a listing of some popular certifications.)

Try some of these ideas today! Check out our great selection of green and eco-friendly office supplies in Shoplet’s Shop Green section. When it comes to shopping green, every little thing matters. Tune into our blog next week for Part III of our Green Office Guide!