Let’s face it. With all of the news stories about the environment being harmed by human consumption and waste, the average consumer can get the impression that in order to fix the planet we have to stop doing anything fun. Or that we have to spend a lot of money that we don’t have turning ourselves “green”.
The video on YouTube about the life of a plastic trash bag that ends up in the ocean is cute at first, but ultimately is depressing. The stories (and more videos on YouTube) about the massive floating islands of garbage in the Pacific Ocean is simply horrifying to learn about!
Clearly, the environment is in need of help!
The largest problem facing the environmental clean-up is the implementation of attitude adjustment. The consumers in the United States of America have effectively been educated by the American corporations to buy a lot of things that are “disposable.” And by “disposable” we mean “throw-away.” “Disposable” does NOT mean that once it is thrown away it composts down into usable solid, or dissipates into harmless vapors. “Disposable” usually means “tossed in a landfill or the ocean or incinerated.” All of those disposal methods harm the environment in one way or the other.
Fortunately, today’s school systems have teachers that are beginning to teach students how important an issue the environment has become. Slowly these students are asking their parents to make some lifestyle changes. The changes may be minor at first, but even a little change is better than nothing. One good example of this would be to make sure that families don’t throw away garbage bags that are only half-full. Since this small change actually saves the family money on their cleaning supply budget, that is a relatively painless way to start making a difference.
This garbage bag technique can also save money at the office. At the end of the workday, a large trash can on wheels can be rolled through the office, stopping at individual work stations; the smaller trash cans can be emptied into the larger can. The large can has a large garbage bag liner in it, and the smaller garbage can liners can stay inside the smaller cans to be used again. This is much more environmentally friendly than each smaller can’s liner being tied closed and thrown into a large can!
With a little bit of effort, environment-friendly savings on office supplies can be found. Paper products made from recycled products are available at the office supply stores and warehouse clubs at competitive prices. Some of the prices are even lower than the name brand products that are not made from recycled materials.
There are several eco-friendly printing solutions that can be employed, such as using the two-sided printing option on your printer and using the “draft” quality ink setting. Making notepaper out of the blank side of “oops” pages that would normally be thrown away (if no confidentiality issues are there) is a great way to reduce the amount of wasted paper that leaves the office.
But trying to save money and the environment can be fun, too. And just because you are being eco-friendly doesn’t mean that you can’t flash some style! Purchase some of the lowest priced office stationery supplies, printer paper, inexpensive envelopes, and note cards and dress them up by using some popular embossers. Having a great looking embossed logo on a letterhead of recycled paper is a great way to make an impact with customers! What a great way to show you care, have a little fun, and “class” it up!