Trash reduction and recycling doesn’t only belong in our home habits. We spend most of our week where we work, so why not apply those same eco-friendly choices at your office, too? Anywhere that you are able to reduce the generation of trash will help prevent it from polluting our storm drains and waterways. Check out the tips below to see how you can make a difference in your workplace!
PURCHASE GREEN IN THE OFFICE
Before purchasing office supplies like paper, light bulbs, and even electronics, check to see if there’s an eco-friendlier option. Choose recycled paper and look for the ENERGY STAR logo when purchasing appliances.
GO PAPERLESS OR CHANGE DEFAULT PRINTER SETTINGS
If possible, try moving to a fully digital office space. E-billing, digital forms, and electronic databases are all great ways to move away from using paper in your office. And if you do need to print something, make sure to set your printer default to double-sided, draft mode, and your ink to grayscale, or the most eco-friendly settings.
The less paper and ink you use, the less waste your office produces. Purchasing less office supplies will also reduce the amount of resources and energy used to manufacture these products.
SET UP A RECYCLING PROGRAM
Place bins for paper, plastic, and glass around the office to encourage employees to recycle throughout the day.
DESIGNATE A COMPOSTING AREA
Using office waste like non-bleached paper and coffee grounds, set up a composting area. This will decrease the negative footprint of your business and reduce the need for fertilizers and chemicals on site. Use your office compost to help your office plants grow!
CLEAR ALL LANDSCAPED AREAS
Keep all gutters, swales and ditches free of litter, rubbish, and debris. This will help prevent storm water runoff from carrying these pollutants into storm drains or nearby water ways.
SWEEP PARKING LOTS
Regular sweeping of any impervious surface, especially around storm drains, will prevent storm water pollution. Not only will this help keep pollutants from entering storm drains, it will also help keep flooding at bay during rain events! If there is an oil spill, use shredded paper from the recycling bin to absorb most of the oil. Crush cat litter into the remaining oil spot and then dry sweep it up.
KEEP DUMPSTER LIDS CLOSED
Keeping dumpster lids closed and in proper working condition minimizes storm water’s ability to impact the trash inside. When the lids are closed, it’s less likely that pollution will leak out of the bins.
Volunteer for the Department of Transportation Adopt-a-Highway Program to pick up litter along our highways. It’s a way for environmentally conscious companies help keep trash off the roadways and litter out of our storm drains.
PLAN AHEAD ON YOUR OFFICE OR WORK SITE
Measure all materials, order only what you need, and conduct regular inventory checks. Account for anticipated waste and designate areas for trash, donation, and recycle bins.
CHOOSE DECONSTRUCTION OVER DEMOLITION
By choosing deconstruction on a project, you reduce the amount of toxic dust released into the environment. You can also give the items in good shape, like cabinetry, hardware, and appliances, new life by reusing or donating them.