Here’s How to Put Together a Zero Waste Office

The office can quickly become the most wasteful room in the house. Known for piles upon piles of paperwork, countless single-use items, and energy-sucking electronic devices, it is so common for the office to get out of hand.

Ready to tackle the beast? Here are some simple, high-impact ways you can reduce the amount of trash coming out of your office. Just pick a few tips that work for you!

1. Kick the clutter.

First things first, you have to kick the clutter. It is next to impossible to maintain a zero waste mindset when you’re already bogged down by garbage. Start by creating three piles — recycle, giveaway, throwaway — and process everything in the office you don’t need anymore. You’ll be amazed how much lighter you feel when it’s done!

2. Choose reusable / compostable / recyclable.

While single-use items like plastic tape dispensers, highlighters, and staples are a significant portion of office-created garbage, reusables that cannot be broken down at the end of their lives are also big contributors. Opt for plain wooden pencils, compostable cardboard or recyclable metal binders, and refillable pens instead.

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3. Share or borrow equipment.

Consider the number of times you truly require a printer at home. Could you make due with the one at your local library? Letting go of your home printer helps cut down on the temptation to print more than is actually required, plus you’ll probably save tons of money on ink…

4. Shop local as much as possible.

We all know the pull of Amazon…ohhh, the pull. Our addiction to convenience could be the end of us! If you have the option where you live, do your best to buy local as much as possible. It’s always great to support local business, and package-free is always best!

5. Go paperless.

Switch from paper to electronic billing, set up auto-pay on recurring bills, refuse phone books and newspapers, and contact all sources of junk mail and ask to be removed from their mailing lists. It’s a process, I know, but so worth it in the end.

All of this is worth it in the end. Happy zero waste-ing!

31 comments

Caitlin L
Caitlin L28 days ago

thank you

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Karen Martinez
Karen Martinezabout a month ago

Thank you for the article. We use more paper clips than staples, and we've always been a fan of wooden pencils over mechanical ones. Don't use many pens, but will use up the tons of acquired pens before I go out and spend a ton of money on a Cross refillable pen. The printer, well, you make a good point, but since I can't access the library before 9:00 a.m., and after 8:00 p.m., and it is a good 7 miles away, am I really saving the planet by selling my printer to get into my car and drive (I won't ride my bike on the street I would have to take to get to the library-too dangerous) to the library to print out a few knitting patterns and an occasional contract? Perspective is the key. Since my computer is situated on an antique table that I rescued from my parents' basement 35 years ago, and the chair and organizational baskets were purchased at Salvation Army, I believe our home office is doing okay.

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Vincent T
Vincent Tabout a month ago

thank you

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Virginia Miller
Virginia Millerabout a month ago

Thanks

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Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga1 months ago

noted

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Elizabeth M
Past Member 1 months ago

Noted thanks very much.

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Angela K
Angela K1 months ago

noted

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Leo C
Leo C1 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Great info and help Thank you for caring and sharing

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Glennis W
Glennis W1 months ago

Very informative Thank you for caring and sharing

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