Isn’t everyone looking for ways to reduce waste and make an environmental difference without breaking the bank? Being green shouldn’t have to cost a fortune.
Here are 5 changes you can make in your office that will save you (and your office) money!
- Reduce your paper consumption. Americans throw away 4.5 million tonnes of paper annually. Set up scrap paper receptacles at copy stations for notes and drafting. Print memos and other interoffice information on the back sides of old prints. Beef up your electronic filing system and ditch paper altogether and send as much as you can via email. According to WWF, a company with 5,000 employees who double-side printed only 10% of their copies, could save up to $260,000 USD.
- Change your whiteboard markers to a non-toxic alternative. Xylene, found in many brands of whiteboard markers, is a known neurotoxin. If that doesn’t make you gasp for some clean air, try this: one AusPen is equal to 41 traditional white board markers. And unlike AusPen markers, none of the disposable marker’s packaging is recyclable. Still not convinced? Using AusPen’s saves companies money – a traditional whiteboard marker (bought from a regular supplier) typically costs between $0.50 – $1.00 each. An AusPen is $0.28 (when you calculate using it through one of its life cycles – including the refill)
- Start a coffee and/or takeout “swear jar”. According to Eco Defence Fund, Starbucks goes through 1.9 billion disposable cups. And while they have introduced a 10% post consumer paper cup, that’s still a lot of cups going to the landfill. Try collecting money from those who use disposable cups. Charge anyone who uses disposable take out containers. If just $1 a day was collected your swear jar could earn approximately $260 a year (based on a 5 day work week). That’s enough to buy an espresso coffee maker for your office’s kitchen!
- Install a water filtration system right on the kitchen faucet. According to the Clean Air Council, 2.5 million plastic water bottles are thrown away every hour in America. Give everyone a stainless steel water bottle and cut down on disposable plastic bottles. A filtration system costs approximately $150 -$250 USD a year (according to Costco) but buying just one bottle a day would cost just one person $130 – $260 a year.
- Revamp your bathroom recycling. Reduce paper towel waste by switching to a hand dryer. It may be a higher start up cost but the long term cost savings of buying paper towels, cleaning trash bins and replacing towels will easily make up for this. WWF has estimated that we flush about 270,000 trees down the toilet – a day. Put a note in each stall that tells your fellow co-workers and make the switch to recycled toilet paper.
Remember – when you make changes, communicate them. Explaining the cost and environmental savings will likely result in increased acceptance and participation.
Written by Eco-Smart World’s blog editor, Crystal Henrickson
Eco-Smart World is the North American distributor for the AusPen