Greening the office with the 3 R’s

This month includes earth day on the 22nd and many companies are doing week long celebrations and awareness campaigns. Since I agree with the “save our planet” concept, I thought I would throw out a few ideas for the 3 R’s of reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Reduce – Don’t buy more office supplies than you could possibly use over the next year. Why consider this option when purchasing larger amounts could save cents per items? Not only do some items have a limited shelf life or go out of style, they also take up valuable space. If you want to buy in bulk in order to get bigger discounts, consider partnering with another department or small business owner in order to split the cost and the supplies. When you buy paper, but recycled or try to find ways to reduce the amount you use. Think of the paperless office as less paper use along with the concept of electronic media for information management to get to no paper at all.

Reuse – One office where I worked held a yearly office supply swap. During the year, the supply coordinators for each department would remind people each quarter to return unneeded items to the supply area when people no longer wanted them. Then each year the coordinators would go through their supply cabinets for an overabundance of particular items at a specific time each year. As a group they would set up tables in front of the company cafeteria with their excess office supplies. Then any employee could peruse the supplies going to or coming from lunch and pick up whatever they thought might be helpful to organize their area or reduce the need to buy a certain type of supply. Any supplies left at the end of the day were donated to a charitable organization.

Recycle – Many companies already have a place in their break rooms or cafeterias where employees can recycle cans and bottles. It is a shame that not all employees choose to walk the few feet to use these containers. Maybe a department contest to see which areas can collect the most bottles and cans would be an incentive to get this started. Some companies offer their employees both a waste and a paper recycle can for their work space to encourage recycling. Kudos to those doing their part to save a tree! I’ve also noted that several companies now have a paper recycle container next to their copy machines so “oops” items can go into recycle instead of trash. Again, kudos!

What is your company or department doing this month for earth day or green week? What are you personally doing to “save our planet?” Let me know and share your hints and ideas with our readers too.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the ofice supply swap idea and the link to paperless office article. Will try to implement some of these ideas at work.