We have been dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic for the last year and we had to adapt our lives and our routine to protect ourselves and everyone around us. This pandemic will come to an end soon and we will have our lives back. However, our routine will be impacted forever. We propose to use these changes for something even bigger.
Many of you have been working from home, we are printing less, and we are wasting less paper. We have been using fewer plastic dishes and silverware, having more meetings online, saving fuel and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. What if we try to continue with these more environmentally friendly habits when we go back to our “normal lives”?
We have put together 10 simple ways to help you reduce waste in your workplace. They are easy to carry out and they will save your money in the long run. Not to forget the most important: they will play a small but important part of conserving our planet’s resources.
1. Discourage printing and reduce the use of paper.
Printing excessively does not just wastepaper but it also wastes energy and ink. To reduce the generation of waste inside of your company, the first step would encourage your team to print less paper by sharing documents electronically, sharing documents on screen during meetings and reading them on screen. Many people print the documents to read over once and discard them.
2. When needed, print smarter.
Sometimes, print is necessary. Even during these times, you can reduce the use of paper, energy, and ink by printing smart. You can set print automatically to print double sided. Doing it so, the printers will print on both sides of the paper, except when you ask not to do it so.
3. Use refillable cartridges.
Around 47% of toner cartridges and 70% of ink cartridges are still not recycled or, at least, disposed properly. To avoid the waste of cartridges, you can opt to refillable ones. Once you find that the original ink has run dry you can refill your cartridge up to five times.
4. Turn off lights and computers at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, too many companies still leave theirs lights on at the end of the workday and many employees leave their computers or laptop running when they leave for the evening. To overcome this issue, you can have a person responsible for turning off all the lights and switch off anything that is non-essential. In addition to this, you can train employees about the importance of completely shutting down their computers instead of just putting them on sleep mode.
5. Use digital files and electronic invoices.
Switch your bills and banking to online. You can pay all your bills or send invoices to clients using a software in your computer or mobile. That will not only save paper and ink, but it will save you money and time.
6. Encourage litter less lunches.
Encourage employees to be mindful of what they bring into the office. Ban the use of single use plastic by providing your team with real places and cutlery. If you want to go a step further, you can give employees their own reusable lunch bag to avoid the use of plastic bags and plastic containers.
7. Provide filtered water.
As simple as it may sound, providing filtered water will ban the use of plastic bottles and reduce the amount of plastic generated. It is important to also supply your staff with glasses instead of using plastic cups.
8. Buy in bulk.
Buy coffee, tea, and sugar in bulk. Instead of ordering individual packs of them, you can buy in bulk and place them into containers. It will save your money and reduce packaging waste.
9. Recycle all electronics equipment.
E-waste is any electrical or electronic equipment that has been discarded. These e-waste products contain toxic substances that need to be handful carefully to not leach into the soil, polluting the ground water and air. Recycle these materials is very important, but other options could be donate used electronic to charity or extend the life of your electronics.
10. Put a recycling program in place.
If your company does not have a recycling program in place yet, then it is the right time to start thinking about it. Get recycling bins to separate your waste into paper, plastic and aluminium and send these to your local recycling company.
We are also joining a sustainability journey here, at Print Solutions. Our new sustainable team is working hard to implement small and big changes and reduce our environmental impact. Sustainability is now one of our core values!