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Six Steps Towards Making
Your Office Greener

by Lloyd Burrell


Is a paper monster taking over your office? The amount of paper we seem to generate these days can be incredible -- from receipts, bills, catalogs, and many miscellaneous other items. If you take hold of this influx of paper, and reduce it by using certain methods, then you will help reduce the amount of waste which every human being produces daily. Spend a few minutes dealing with your papers every day, and you'll soon get into the routine of reducing, reusing, and recycling.

1:  Make Friends With Your Recycling Bin

Take the pile of mail you have just collected from your mailbox and hover by your recycling bins. Cut off the address labels  from those junk catalogs (and shred to prevent identity theft) and pop the catalogs into the paper recycling bin.

Go online and request any catalogues you still want to be sent to you, electronically.

2:  Separate Your Receipts Into Different Piles

If you have let your receipts accumulate, then this could be a job which may take several hours to start with. After getting used to doing it daily, it will not take very long at all to do.

If any of the receipts contain personal data, then make sure that you shred them first.

Keep a box of shredded paper to use as a natural kind of packing material. This is far better than using those foam peanuts.

Make sure that you actually save receipts that may be needed for the future to do your taxes, and scan the rest before disposing of them.

Certain tax receipts and other pieces of paper needed for returning goods etc. to stores, may be put into a "holding file".

3:  Shred, Shred And Then Shred Some More

Shredders are terrific pieces of equipment which can help the environment tremendously.

Don't throw away or recycle unshredded, those credit card offers which companies send in the mail. Identity thieves can use these to start an account under your own name.

green office shredder

Just make sure to recycle those shredded documents*, along with your unshredded paperwork.

Always guard your personal data diligently.

4:  Reduce Junk Catalogs And Other Mail

Opt out on as many of those too-frequent catalogs you receive, by calling, mailing, or e-mailing the companies. You may have to repeat this method every few months or so.

Countries have different regulations regarding receiving junk mail and opting out from receiving it. You can also do this for junk phone calls as well, therefore saving on electricity and time and stress!

5:  Get Your Statements And Bills Online

Always request this kind of paper to be sent via e-mail instead of actual hardcopies, so to speak. This will really add up and help reduce your carbon footprint. The less paper you get, the more trees may remain standing. Producing paper creates such an immense amount of waste, and chemicals spew into the air as it's manufactured. Back in the day, paper was very precious and often folks would write on it over and over again, in every nook and cranny. If more people thought of paper as precious, they would make better use of this resource and recycle it when done.

6:  Do Everything You Can Online; Help Save Our Environment

Computers are a wonderful tool and may be used to aid us in recycling.

green office secure computer Make sure that the website you are visiting is secure, and it will be safe to shop, pay bills, and access your bank accounts online.

Look for the little lock symbol, and keep your antivirus software up to date. You can set this up to check websites, as well as safeguard you against worms and viruses which may attack your personal data.

You can get an instant receipt electronically if you're buying online, and if you are purchasing something in a retail store, then request no receipt unless you really need one.


Take these 6 steps and you can rid yourself of at least three quarters of the paper which clutters your home office. It's not going to happen right away, but as you gradually decrease the paper which surrounds you, you will find yourself working less and enjoying life more.

When you're printing anything in your office, print on both sides of the paper. This alone will cut your paper use in half! Practice recycling everything you can and it will become second nature.
 

*  For operational reasons, some recycling contractors refuse to take shredded paper so it is advisable to check first.
 

green office recycling

 

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