Eco-Friendly Office Tips: 13 Ways to Reduce Paper Waste In Your Office

Here are some practical tips for eliminating unnecessary paper waste in your office.

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The concept of conserving paper is nothing new. But, in this economic environment it just makes good business sense to reduce your daily operational costs, and that includes paper.

If American businesses could reduce paper usage by just 10%, we could reduce our total carbon footprint by 1.9 million tons each year. Eco-friendly business practices, including reduced paper waste in your office, will help the environment as well as your bottom line.

Here are some practical tips for eliminating unnecessary paper waste in your office.

1. Encourage your team to view documents on their computers and mobile devices.

You can save a lot of money just by opening important documents on your computer rather than printing them out. It’s just as easy to send the PDF or text file to an employee for them to review as it is to print it. When at all possible, send documents electronically.

2. Switch to paperless payroll.

There are several systems available today that will simply email your employees a PDF of their check so they can keep an electronic copy for their records. Encouraging your employees to take advantage of direct deposit not only helps cut down on paper waste, but also their CO2 emissions from having to drive to the bank every pay day.

3. Set office printers to print on both sides of the paper.

This is the number one best way that you can conserve paper without sacrificing the quality of your printed materials. All of the office printers should default to printing on both sides.

4. Encourage employees to recycle paper.

Have plenty of recycle bins available around the printer and in employee work areas to encourage recycling.

5. Send documents to mobile devices.

Many of us have smartphones and they’re a great way to view a document away from your desk without having to print anything. Send it to their device rather than printing it.

6. Reuse wasted or one-sided paper.

If you happen to have paper that was only used on one side, then you can reuse it. Designate a “Recycle Tray” close to the printer so that unused printable space doesn’t go to waste.

7. Repurpose wasted office paper in creative ways.

Get creative and have interns create paper mache projects for office art, use office paper as creative wrapping paper or table cloths for company picnics.

8. Eliminate blank pages in large documents.

This is another heavy hitter in the paper-saving game. Take a few moments to double check on each of your large documents for pages that are either blank or don’t need to be printed before you hit print. You will save ink and paper.

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