5 Ways for Businesses to Reduce Waste

Not one day goes by that a story on how to be more energy efficient is not published in a newspaper or online. That’s because more people (and companies) are realizing just how important it is to make a concerted effort to protect our environment in any possible way that we can. This would include being responsible with our resources; a part of that would require finding innovative ways to reduce waste.

Have you been wondering how you can eliminate the amount of waste that your office accumulates? If so, we have five great tips for you below:

Be smarter with your paper. One way that you can definitely reduce a lot of the clutter in your office is by making better choices when it comes to paper usage. Buy recycled paper. Print on both sides of it. Create scratch pads from used paper. Save files on a cloud rather than making hard copies. And eliminate the junk mail that comes to your office by writing Direct Marketing Association, Mail Preference Service, P.O. Box 9008, Farmingdale, NY 11735-9008 and asking to be officially removed from mailing lists.

Recycle old equipment and purchase refurbished ones. If it’s time for a new laptop or printer, don’t simply throw it away. Companies like Best Buy and Target have “buy back programs” for many electronics where they’ll give you a gift card in exchange for your equipment. Or, you can donate them to a local Goodwill in exchange for a tax write-off. Also, rather than purchasing a new item, consider getting a refurbished one instead. They tend to work just as well, plus you can get them for much cheaper.

Rethink shipping. Most businesses have items that need to be shipped out on regular basis. You can reduce shipping waste by using returnable containers, insulating packages with shredded paper rather than bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts and opting for reusable boxes rather than cardboard ones.

Stock up your break room with something other than paper. If you’ve been using paper plates and plastic silverware in your break room, consider using durable dishes and flatware instead. Also, rather than paper napkins, go with the cloth kind. As an added bonus, you can make your own antibacterial soap for people to wash their hands with. All you need are the following ingredients: ¾ cups of distilled water, ¼ cup of liquid castile soap, 5 drops of thieves oil (mixed all together) and a reusable soap pump and bottle. Also, make sure to have a compost box. You can use it for the soil on the office grounds.

Be smart with your electricity. If you’ve checked out a small business blog or two on the topic of reducing office waste, you’ve probably read that one of the best things that you can do is be efficient with your electricity. Therefore, use natural light (rather than overhead lighting) as much as possible. Choose to turn on your laptop more than your desktop (laptops use about 60 percent less energy). And at the end of the day, unplug whatever doesn’t need an electrical charge throughout the night. Just by following these few tips, you should start to see your utility bills drop and that will cause you to save one of the most powerful resources of all: your money.

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