Is Your Office Green?

Environmentally friendly office supplies

You may be buying organic food products at home or tossing your milk carton into a recycling bit, but are you as environmentally conscious when you’re at the office? Probably not.

It seems that there is usually a divide between our lifestyles at home and how we live on the job. While you may be committed to a healthy lifestyle at home that is good for you and the earth, we must remember to carry over this commitment at the workplace, too.

In an attempt to reduce the amount of paper being printed and, therefore, the number of trees being harvested to make paper, consider using environmentally friendly products, office supplies, recycled copy paper, recycled envelopes, refurbished used printers, and remanufactured toner cartridges.

We are a consumption-driven world, yet by using environmentally-friendly products, such as recycled paper and other products, we can slow the depletion of our forest resources, extend landfill life, reduce energy consumption and emissions, and lessen the effects of global warming.

It isn’t as hard as it sounds. Generally, even small changes in your workplace lifestyle can reap healthy rewards for you and the earth.

  • For starters, toss the silk floral arrangements and decorate your office with live plants. They will clean and purify the air you breathe all day.
  • Insist on using recycled paper for letterhead, envelopes, etc. Paper that includes recycled content is best.
  • Consider using recycled binders. Some binders are made from extra-strong, corrugated cardboard while other vinyl binders are made of recycled materials.
  • Do you have a desktop, countertop in your office kitchen or workplace? When the time comes to upgrade or replace it, consider purchasing a solid surface material that is made of recycled materials.
  • Sell any old office equipment to a company that can refurbish it and put it back into use. Or, donate it to a non-profit organization such as a church, homeless shelter, school and library.
  • If possible, purchase a refurbished printer or computer. You’ll be putting to use a piece of equipment with a warranty at a far lower cost than you would spend otherwise.
  • Recycle your printer cartridges.
  • Turn off your monitors if they will not be used for periods of 30 minutes or longer. Shut down your computer at the end of each day unless it is essential that it be left on.
  • Tissue, toilet paper and even paper towels can be purchased with post-consumer recycled content.
  • Overhaul your cleaning supplies to include those that are environmentally friendly. These usually do not include harsh chemicals. Sometimes a microfiber cloth and water may be all that is needed.
  • Look for earth-friendly products that indicate they are made of recycled content or are recyclable, biodegradable, compostable or have reduced chemical content.