Is it possible to make eco-friendly swaps while saving money at the same time for your business? Of course it is! If everyone made those little extra steps, we could work wonders. Here are five eco-friendly tips to get you started greening up your work space and your wallet.
1. Give paper that one last use
For paper around the office that does not contain confidential information, consider cutting it up to use the blank side as scratch paper before it hits the recycle bin. Depending on your needs, you may want to cut some in half lengthwise for lists and the rest in quarters. The re-use of this paper will save money and trees since you’ll be buying notepads, note paper, stickies and the like less often. (For a little Friday afternoon entertainment these can also be used to make wicked cool paper airplanes, but don’t tell the boss.)
2. Order in Bulk
Think about sharing the cost of supplies and the shipping too. A good deal of office supply stores will give you perks the more you order – stuff like free shipping, bigger discounts and free merchandise. Partnering and ordering with another small business that needs the same kind of supplies that you do you can cut costs for both of you. Everyone uses writing utensils, paper, chairs, desks and jump drives. While you may not be able to order all your supplies this way, even acquiring half your supplies using this method saves you money and reduces the use of packing materials.
3. Get Real in the Kitchen
Invest in a set of real glass tumblers, ceramic coffee cups, ceramic plates and bowls and real metal flatware. By practicing re-use in the kitchen, you lessen the need for new items made from new materials. You’ll also save money by making a real kitchen item purchase once instead of continuously buying, throwing away and filling the landfills with the disposable variety. (It might even make that occasional lunch at your desk more enjoyable.)
4. Duplex, Dude!
Lots of printers have a feature that will allow you to print on both sides of the paper – it’s known as duplex printing. Use this setting to save 50% on your paper usage which also saves fifty percent on your paper purchasing. It’s a win-win. If your printer doesn’t have this feature, you can accomplish the same result by printing out the first half of a document and then reload those pages in the tray so they can be printed on the opposite sides as well. This makes a huge impact particularly with reports that are run regularly, super large documents and presentation print outs.
5. Return Your Used Printer Cartridges for Perks
Various office supply stores will give you a credit toward your next purchase or even a free ream of paper when you drop off your used printer cartridges. If your local store doesn’t honor this practice, you can always mail them back to the manufacturer instead. The larger manufacturers will pay for the return shipping of used cartridges and some even give you additional incentives to do so. Search the word “recycle” + “your cartridge brand name” online to find your options.
I hope these ideas will help you think differently about making eco-friendly decisions that will save money for your business! For more ideas you can check out my blog.