The average office is a resource-intensive place to be. There are lots of consumables, lots of disposable products and staff are often too busy to consider the ramifications of the way they work. Fortunately, the stationery industry is way ahead of us, offering sustainable office supplies. Viable alternatives to everyday items that deliver the same performance with genuine green credentials.
That last bit is important. The same products we use all the time with no compromise but more sustainability. Now more than ever it is possible to lower our environmental impact without having to change the way we work or use inferior products.
Here are a few ways the stationery industry is becoming eco-friendly.
Recycled and Recyclable Stationery
The average office will consume several tons of stationery each year. The larger the office, the more waste. It doesn’t have to be that way. Many leading stationery manufacturers are offering green office supplies alongside existing products. There are also organisations like TerraCycle who can recycle the vast majority of office stationery.
There are a range of recycled office supplies made primarily of recycled materials. They offer sustainable office supplies with no compromise on quality, longevity or usability. Pens, pencils, paper, printer cartridges, toner cartridges, envelopes, office furniture and other common office items can now feature a large proportion of recycled material.
The other side of the equation is recycling. Many office suppliers offer recycling services
alongside their delivery services. Box up your used items and your supplier can collect them along with your usual deliveries and recycle them for you. Almost everything within a modern office can be recycled and there are organisations in the UK that do anexcellent job of it.
For example, the aforementioned TerraCycle recycles ballpoint pens, used coffee grounds, plastic products, print ink and toner, fusers and a whole lot more.
We all know that plastic is the enemy in terms of being eco-friendly. Single use plastic most of all. The stationery industry knows this which is why they are beginning to offer a huge range of sustainable office supplies traditionally made from plastic.
Examples include plastic-free A4 binders, recyclable or biodegradable water cups, cork in-trays and desk accessories, water in a can and other innovative products. Many singleuse plastic items now have a viable alternative that delivers the same quality with far less waste.
The average business also consumes a lot of chemicals. From screen wipes to disinfectants, washing up liquid to hand wash. There are now viable alternatives to chemical products too. You can now buy green cleaning fluids, cloths and towels, general cleaning products, polishes, laundry cleaning products, washing up and hand washing products and other items that contain far fewer chemicals.
The ingredients these alternatives contain produce a much lower environmental impact while delivering the same cleaning power of chemical products.
The days of having to compromise on quality or usability in return for being sustainable are long gone. The modern office can lower its environmental impact significantly with little effort or extra cost. Isn’t it time we all joined in?
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According toReal Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.
So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings
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