Reducing Paper Consumption in the Office Before Recycling
If your company is making efforts to be more environmentally conscious, a commitment to reusing paper and reducing paper usage in the office will have a significant impact. While you may not think your office uses a lot of paper based on your paper expenses, the cost of using paper is actually far more than just the price per ream. Think about the copier/printer maintenance and ink, mailroom handling, postage costs, and employee time spent copying, printing, and processing all your paperwork.
Here are several ways you can reduce and reuse paper in the office before it gets to the recycling stage.
Reduce Paper Usage in the Office
Reducing the amount of paper used in the first place is ideal, but the road there can be bumpy. Getting management buy-in and having processes in place that are easy for employees to follow are necessary in order to change your office culture about paper usage.
Some Ways You Can Start Include:
- Printing on both sides (bonus: this will also reduce your postage costs for reports you have to mail!)
- Using digital forms. If you’re worried about security, save them as a PDF that cannot be edited without a password.
- Keeping digital records. Hire a document scanning company to convert all your old paper files to digital records.
- Using email or the company intranet for memos and announcements.
- Thinking before you print or copy! Reduce the size on the copier and adjust the margins in your word processer to fit more on one page, and only print the pages of a document you actually need.
Reuse Before Recycling Paper in Your Office
For printed documents that don’t end up in a file drawer, consider how you can reuse the paper! Obviously, a commercial recycling company should shred anything with sensitive company or client information, but all other paper can safely be used in a number of ways, including:
- In your fax machine. Just put a slash through the “back” side of the paper that has already been used to avoid confusion.
- To print drafts before printing a final document.
- As scrap paper for memos. Cut each piece of paper into fourths, punch a hole in the top and thread them on a memo spike.
- Shredded and used as packing material.
Recycling Paper in the Office
When you partner with a local recycling company like Combined Resources Inc., you will receive a recycling audit that reveals your office’s waste stream, ways to improve it, and what recycling programs you can benefit from. Almost ALL offices can benefit from a paper recycling program! Once you’ve reduced and reused as much paper as possible, the remainder will be recycled. You will likely have a combination of sensitive documents that require secure, commercial shredding, and regular paper for recycling that includes junk mail and scrap paper. By reducing, reusing and recycling your office’s paper, you will end up with virtually no paper in your garbage bins and will have significantly reduced your company’s carbon footprint.
If you’re interested in reducing paper usage in the office, contact CRI at 855-782-8490 for a free recycling audit!
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