Waste reduction tips for your business

Recycle BooksThe average person throws out nearly 2 kilograms of waste each day.?This adds up, and over the space of a year can amount to a significant pile of rubbish.

If we want to care for our environment, we should take extra care of the waste we produce, and try to reduce it. One of the best places for waste reduction is at the office ? it is where we spend five days out of every week, after all.

We?ve come up with some tips on how you can start eliminating your waste as soon as possible:

Create a Paperless office

Despite the digitisation of so many aspects of business, paper still seems to be everywhere. Cutting back on it is one of the most effective techniques for office waste reduction. So what can you do to reduce – or even eliminate – your reliance on paper?

1. Make a list

First up, make an exhaustive list of where and when your business uses paper. Don’t leave anything out; from notes left by secretaries to annual reports, everything counts. It can be hard to keep an eye on every printer, so consider making your job easier with print tracking software.

2. Talk to your staff

It’s crucial to get your staff on board. Tell them about your vision of a paperless office, explaining your motivations and the importance of better business waste management. The change-over won’t happen overnight, but you can speed it up by offering staff incentives.

3. Talk to your clients and the companies you work with

Even if your business goes paper-free internally, you’ll need the help of your clients and the companies you work with to expand the initiative further. So let them know of your plan and explain how they can help.

4. Use online applications wherever possible

There are online applications for every aspect of doing business these days – so start using them. They include Google Docs, which enables multiple parties to work on a single document; PayPal for transferring money; Dropbox for sharing large files; and Basecamp for managing projects. You can also investigate what cloud computing can do for you.

5. Use a scanner

You can’t necessarily stop other parties from sending you paper, but you can use a scanner to create digital copies of their documents for reference in your workplace.

6. Create a digital signature and use it

One of the more cumbersome aspects of paper work can be the need to add your signature to hard copies of documents. But these days it’s becoming more and more acceptable to provide a digital signature.

7. Slowly reduce the use of old technologies

You might feel like you depend on your fax machine, but there is life beyond it. Slowly phase it out by encouraging people to send digital documents.

Reduce your reports

We?re not talking about reducing the length of your reports (although this might please some people), but rather reducing the number of reports you decide to print. Consider the paper waste before using the printer ? each page has come from a tree! If you do have to print, try to do so on both sides or use old scrap paper.

Ditch the photocopier

Consider emailing documents to clients rather than photocopying the work. Try to stop using the photocopier altogether and cut down on the amount of paper you use.

Reduce your mail

Opt out of office mailings and unsolicited mail, reducing the amount of paper that comes through your inbox. Sign up for online billing and online banking and change your settings to only receive emails. One of our pet hates in Australia is free newspapers being thrown on our doorstep whether we want them or not. This creates a huge amount of waste. Contact the newspaper involved and ask them not to deliver to you. They will do this. Let us know if it works though because as yet it hasn’t worked for us!

Reuse envelopes

When someone posts you mail, keep the envelopes and then reuse them to save on waste. You can also reuse or recycle your Australia post satchels.

Cut down on stationery

Rather than re-ordering new stationery, such as staplers or files, see if you can share these items with other colleagues. When you?re done with a file, or have documents you don?t use anymore, simply re-label the file and reuse it.

Donate old magazines

Schools and libraries often keep collections of magazines, so see if you can donate any you have lying around.

Reuse newspapers

Use your office shredder to shred newspapers and then use this for packaging, instead of plastic bubble wrap.

Consider those around you

If you have a small office, sometimes it pays to combine your recycling with neighbouring offices. This can cut costs.

Create recycling stations

Don?t just have one recycling bin in a hard to find location, consider putting a recycling box or bin on every level to encourage staff them to use them. Also ditch the bins under everyone desks. This just makes everyone lazy. Let staff take a walk and encourage them to recycle by making the waste bins harder to reach than the recycling bins.

Zero Waste Boxes

Thanks to our partnership with Terracyle we can now offer your business a range of zero waste boxes. These boxes are prepaid including shipping and allow you to recycle a number of hard to recycling items. These items include Beard and Hair Nets, Old Binders, Coffer Capsules, Mailroom supplies, Media Storage, Office Supplies, Pens, Pencils and Markers, Plastic Gloves and Snack Wrappers. More details will come soon but if you would like to order one please contact us now.

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