Going green in the workplace isn’t only about using “green” cleaning products; it’s about being a “greener” business as a whole. Incorporating an office-recycling program at your workplace may yield potential cost savings, but more importantly it benefits the environment, can boost employee morale, and designates your company as socially conscience. When you advertise your “green status” it can even open doors for business opportunities you didn’t originally have.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in the average workplace about 80 to 90 percent of solid waste is recyclable.
- Ink and Toner Cartridges – Check with your local office supplier as many have drop off locations for your ink and toner. Sometimes there are kickback programs where you could possibly benefit in receiving a cost reduction on replacement cartridges or reimbursement on empty cartridges.
- Paper – If going fully paperless is not an option, then conserve paper by printing on both sides, cutting up sheets to make notepads and shredding and recycling used paper. If you have dozens of magazines backed up, they can be donated to a doctor’s office or nursing home. If your business regularly ships, consider shredding the magazines and using them for filling in shipping packages.
- Batteries – Never throw away batteries; find a local drop off for old batteries such as your office supply store or Walmart. Some drop off locations also offer incentives to recycle batteries rather than tossing them in the trash.
- Electronics – When you recycle consumer electronics like cell phones, laptops, and desktops you conserve our natural resources and avoid air and water pollution. You can find recycling centers near you through the EPA.
The office kitchen is a great place to start your recycling efforts. Require your staff to use reusable water dispensers rather than plastic cups and use and regularly clean utensils rather than using disposable ones that overflow our landfills. If your office consumes a lot of coffee, consider using the coffee grounds as fertilizer in the landscape or garden.
How to implement office recycling…
- Start by looking around your office and finding potential items to recycle or make reusable.
- Analyze the layout of your office and determine the best placement of recycling bins. Ideal places include office copy rooms, restrooms, and kitchen or break rooms.
- Discuss your program with property management, additional businesses in the same complex, and your janitorial team so that everyone is on the same page.
- Regularly communicate and update the recycling program to your staff and team members and makes sure to a assign a “head of recycling” or “head of green initiatives” to oversee your “green” efforts.
Going “green” isn’t hard; it simply takes initiative, consistency and someone to keep everyone accountable. If you have questions or would like more information on how to go green, look into businesses like Green Seal, which can help you not only jumpstart your “green” efforts, but provide thirty party certifications that identify you as an environmentally friendly business.