How To Reduce Waste In Your Office

Waste is a global problem. It’s damaging to not only a business’s revenue but also the environment. The average person produces 4.4 pounds of disposable waste every day. Most of that trash can be recycled, and other items can be replaced with reusable products. As a business owner, it’s important to reduce your company’s carbon footprint by developing more eco-friendly policies.

Many office supplies can be recycled or repurposed. This approach to workplace supplies is beneficial for the planet and your bottom line.    

What Are the Benefits of Minimizing Waste in the Workplace?

Companies can benefit from minimizing waste in the workforce in many ways.

Cost Savings

First and foremost, you will save money. Rather than spending a significant portion of your operating budget on disposable items like paper towels, copy paper, paper plates or cups, and envelopes, you can reduce these unnecessary expenses by reusing many office products like envelopes, files, and even boxes.

Just think, if you have ten employees who are wasting 4.4 pounds of costly office products every day, that equals 44 pounds of waste resources every day and 220 pounds per week. When you calculate how much you have spent on these products, that is a large part of your profits ending up in landfills.

Environmental Factors

Minimizing your waste in the workplace is also much better for the environment. Instead of filling landfills with disposable products, you can opt for reusable items or repurpose used products. By adopting more eco-friendly policies, you will be doing your part to reduce your carbon footprint and help save the planet.

Better Reputation

Adding recycling programs to your workplace will also improve your public image. In today’s environmentally conscious society, consumers are less likely to support wasteful organizations that do not show a commitment to the health of our planet. Branding yourself as a place that strives to eliminate waste will boost your reputation in the eyes of consumers.

How Can Businesses Reduce Energy Consumption?

Use Energy-Efficient Equipment

There are many tools and devices on the market exclusively designed to lower the amount of energy you use on a daily basis.

Motion detectors are easy to install and very cost-effective. By adding motion detection devices to different rooms or areas in your building, the lights will not be left on needlessly for long periods. Motion detectors turn the lights on when someone enters the room. When there is no motion, the lights turn off.

Automatic thermostats are useful for regulating the temperature in your building. These digital devices can be programmed to lower the room’s temperature after office hours and increase it during office hours.

Also, you can choose to buy only energy-efficient office equipment and appliances. Five-star rated equipment will save you hundreds of dollars in energy costs every year while helping reduce the amount of energy your company consumes daily.

Unplug Unused Devices

Rather than logging off computers, shut your devices down when finished for the day. Unplug cords to appliances and equipment that don’t need to be plugged in all the time. Unplug kettles, microwaves, coffee makers, and other non-essential machinery. Even if the machinery is turned off, leaving the cords plugged into the outlets still uses a certain amount of electricity.

Go Paperless

Use electronic documents, instead of paper forms; send emails, rather than mail letters; and, when you do need to make physical copies, print on both sides of the paper. Single-sided copies are a huge waste of paper. Printing double-sided copies will cut your paper usage and expenses in half.

Take Advantage of Natural Light

Natural light is a great way to illuminate your building while reducing the amount of powered lighting you need to work.

Keep blinds and other window dressings open so that the sun’s rays can shine through. If you must use artificial lighting in your office, use LED light bulbs and other energy-efficient appliances like timers, detectors, lower watt light bulbs, and energy-efficient lighting fixtures. LEDs use far less energy than regular lightbulbs and are more effective at brightening your space.

Insulate Properly

Make sure your office is well insulated and that your weather stripping is intact to keep drafts from entering or climate-controlled air from escaping. If your building does not have government-rated insulation in the walls, you could be losing precious heat and using more energy to keep your building warm.

Compost & Recycle

Compost unused foods and other compostable paper products. Leftovers create a lot of unnecessary trash every day in the workplace. Most of the foods tossed away can be composted, which is much better for the earth.

Develop an effective recycling program to reduce the number of office supplies making their way to garbage dumps. Most products in your company can be recycled. Most paper products, ink cartridges, batteries, writing utensils, and even a lot of packaging materials can be placed in recycling bins, instead of trash cans.

How Can We Eliminate Plastic Waste?

We generate over 300 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. Plastic is one of the most harmful products on the planet. Many plastic-made products take hundreds, even thousands of years to degrade.

In a world where everything is wrapped in plastic, it might seem impossible to reduce or eliminate plastic waste. But that simply is not true. Companies need to do their part to eliminate the use of plastics in the work environment, and there are many ways you can eliminate the waste of plastics.

Use water coolers, instead of water bottles. Use reusable glass containers. Encourage staff and suppliers to use other materials that are not plastic, such as reusable containers, paper products, cardboard, and cloth.

Avoid using appliances and devices that use disposable plastic supplies like one-cup coffee makers. Kettles or brewed coffee makers are more beneficial than single-serve designs.  Do not use disposable cups or dishes. Buy items from bulk suppliers so that you are not clogging your bins with as much wasteful packaging.


Spend a day with your staff to audit your company’s daily operating habits and see where you can eliminate waste and develop more eco-friendly work habits.

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