Is your office guilty of wrongly disposing of waste? Or of creating too much waste unnecessarily? As it's National Recycling Week, we reckon it's as good a time as ever to do a little recycling audit. So get yourself a snazzy green hat or badge, nominate yourself as the Recycling Monitor and start saving the planet today!
Waste less paper
Millions of tonnes of copy paper is wasted every year, and it makes us feel a little sad for all the trees. Printing is a necessary evil in everyday office life, but try to be a bit more frugal and avoid printing unnecessarily. Embrace the digital age! A good tip is to make sure your printers are set to print double-sided, which will also save you money on paper costs. When you do end up with reams of spare paper because John the accountant accidentally clicked â€œprint all" on the tax return, why not get a bit creative with it? Turn it into a fun colouring competition, have a paper aeroplane race, or get crafty with some origami for beginners. Instant workforce motivation!
Scrap birthday cards
I don't know whether it's just our office, but not a week goes by when we're having to sign a birthday card and chip in for a gift. Greeting cards are responsible for a big chunk of our paper usage and, as lovely as they are, it's time we all caught up a bit. We have so much cool technology at our fingertips there's no need to send a card at all! Why not record a video message on your webcam and send it to their email? Much more interactive than a static card. There are also tonnes and tonnes of free e-cards available on the web, meaning there's more money to spend on their actual gift. Win-win!
Recycle your printer cartridges - and earn rewards!
Recycling your printer cartridges is a really good idea, as currently only 15% of the 65 million printer cartridges that are sold in the UK are recycled. The rest unfortunately go to landfill. We're dead against all this plastic and ink lying around, taking up to 1,000 years to finally decompose. Recycling your used printer cartridges is easier than you might think - there are even schemes in some counties that arrange free collection for you. Personally, we love Tesco and their idea of swapping printer cartridges for clubcard points.
Reuse your envelopes
This may seem like something reminiscent of post-war austerity, but it's surprising how easy it is to save on office supply bills by doing this. All you need to do is stick some labels over the pre-printed address. There are even stickers you can buy to put on the bottom of the envelope explaining that it has been recycled to stop waste. So everyone you do business with will know what a recycling hero you are!
Office compost bin
It's 'The Good Life' (ask your parents)! Just make sure you ask the boss first before embarking on your composting revolution. All you need to do is set up a waste can or lidded bucket in your kitchen, where you can put used tea bags, coffee grounds, vegetables and eggshells. Make sure these are sealed or it might get a bit whiffy. This will need to be emptied daily and added to a main compost bin which is best stored outside. Once you've got your office compost, you can all fight over who gets to take it home and use in their garden.
Yep, just like your nana used to. This is a great idea for rainier climes like the UK. You can use the water for washing windows or watering plants. Or decant them into water pistols and organise an annual water fight (again, boss permitting).