Are you interested in implementing some quick sustainability practices at your office and not sure where to begin? One way to get started fairly easily is to create a green purchasing program. First make a list of all the products you purchase and think about how you can begin procuring sustainable items. Following are some ideas to get you started.
Paper, Toner and Office Products
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year. Making sure some of that paper comes from recycled sources is a good place to start your green purchasing efforts. Don’t forget corresponding envelopes for your mailings. Make sure you use re-manufactured toner to print on that paper, available at most office supply stores. Encourage your employees to use scrap paper to take meeting notes. If not, provide them with notepads made from post-consumer materials, like the TOPS brand 100% recycled legal pads at Office Depot. Refillable pens are another key way to reduce waste and they are readily available.
Break Room and Bathroom Purchasing
The break room and bathroom are two other spots where your company can purchase environmentally friendly products. Kimberly-Clark has recycled toilet paper and paper towels for bulk purchase at www.kcprofessional.com/us/Resource-Center/environment.asp. The GreenSeal web site is a resourceful clearing house for companies that sell environmentally friendly office products, like hand soap. And use organic coffee and sugar and creamer, grown without pesticides.
Lighting and Recycling
In all spaces, consider installing energy-saving fluorescent lighting, like the variety available from WB Mason. Invest in recycling containers to put in break rooms and offices to make recycling convenient. For more information on recycling, please see our article How to Create a Recycling Program.
We hope this is a helpful start. If you have specific questions about environmental purchasing, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Danielle Bullen