With the rise of concern for the environment, many suppliers and building owners have become aware of the effect it has on the workplace. However, there are plenty of options you can consider for a more eco-friendly office and to save on your business-related expenses as well, from shopping smarter to using discount codes for office supplies.
To help jump start your work space’s “going green” campaign, here are some ideas to start with.
- Buy Gently Used Office Furniture
Not everything you buy for your business has to be bought through the office catalog. In fact, using second-hand furniture is better for the environment that you think, not to mention easier than ever. Simply check out your local craigslist ads for free or cheap furniture. This way, you are helping out clear space for fellow members in your community as well as filling in your office for half the cost. However, don’t forget to get it cleaned first!
- Donate Old Equipment
Not only does donating old office equipment makes great sense to help out the environment, but can also be a perfect front to promote your business. Plus, you can also write it off in your taxes which can end up saving you and your office money. One of the best places to donate to is the National Christina Foundation, who help give older office-friendly computers to schools in need.
- Purchase Energy Star Office Equipment
Whenever you’re on the hunt for new office equipment, make sure it has an Energy Star logo, which means it’s better for the environment. In fact, Energy Star is a joint program that was established by the US department of Energy and the USEPA who rate products depending on how energy efficient they are.
- Purchase Refurbished Computers with Extended Warranties
Most computers nowadays come with some sort of warranty when you buy them. However, some even come with extended warranties that may cost more but can help cover the insurance of the device for a number of years. Although it may seem like a waste of money at first, buying it can save you hundreds of dollars in repairs down the line and can come with a variety of coupons when bought on sale.
- Use Cheaper Office Suppliers Like Quill Office Supplies
When trying to save money on office supplies, one of the best things you can do is switch to a cheaper supplier. Quill.com is a great option for those looking for a discount office catalog. A recent study even found that Quill office supplies offered products at the same or lower prices than Staples 90% of the time.
Plus, shopping from an online retailer like Quill.com is a great way to save money on gas and reduce your emissions. They also frequently offer discount codes.
- Reduce Spending on Supplies
Although you can reduce the amount of paper you use to save money, paper can be an expensive supply that can dig into office savings. Instead, look for ways to reduce the number of supplies you have in the office such as setting up on certain space for all of your supplies so everyone doesn’t need their own pair. Also, try organizing your supply closet more efficiently so things are easier to find and have less of a chance mistakenly ordering supplies you already have.
- Avoid Duplicates
Only have one supply station or closet in your business. There is no need to keep two fully stocked supply areas. When you minimize your space, you reduce the risk of over-ordering and overspending on supplies.
- Make the Break Room More Eco-Friendly
Instead of opting in for jars of candy in the break room, you can save a serious load of money by buying energy-efficient vending machines and buying snacks in bulk, rather than individually. Also, try having everyone in the office bring in their own mugs to reduce the amount of paper cups you need to spend or trash. Plus, if anyone is feeling a mid-day craving for candy, have them instead go for a walk around the building, it’s healthier.
- Check Your Lights
Swap your incandescent light bulbs for CFLs, or Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. This type of bulb is more energy efficient and can save you up to 75% on your lighting costs. They also last much longer, saving you even more money. You should also turn off any lights when they are not in use. Remind your employees to turn off lights, too. Doing so will save you a lot on energy costs.
- Recycle Printer Cartridges
Ink cartridges cannot be thrown out in the regular trash, they must be disposed of properly. Doing so will prevent them from spending years sitting in a landfill. Certain office supply stores have recycling programs in place. They offer coupons and discounts for those who bring in old ink cartridges and other equipment to recycle.
- Use Your Printer Less
Only print things that are absolutely necessary; there is no need to be printing out emails. Remind everybody in the office to only print papers when they are needed. Suggest they only print the pages of the document they need rather than the whole thing. By reducing printer use, you can cut down your paper waste and your use of printer products like ink and toner.
There are also apps and browser extensions that can help you to clean up your pages before you print them. One such app is PrintEco which removes any unnecessary bits from the web page, makes the document more concise, and reduces paper and ink necessary.
- Recycle Paper
Recycling is a quintessential eco-friendly thing to do. However, it is more than just throwing paper in the recycling bin. Use both sides of every piece of paper. Gather old documents and envelopes to use as scrap paper. Make sure you use everything you can before recycling it.
- Allow Employees To Work From Home
Letting your employees telecommute is one of the easiest ways to reduce costs around the office and help the environment. Because there are fewer people in the office, you will not need to purchase as many supplies and you will save on utilities like water and electricity. Plus, fewer cars on the road driving to the office means fewer carbon emissions.