A woman wearing an apron and a plastic name badge promoting eco-friendly office supplies.

According to the EPA, the average office worker uses up to two pounds of paper daily(!). Every year, American offices waste, on average, 4 million tons of primer paper.

Figures for plastic use are also grim, with the American Chemistry Council estimating the national plastic recycling rate at less than 10%.

Consumers are the culprits in this scenario but are only partly to blame. Offices account for no small share of wasted paper, plastics, and other clutter. If only there were something office managers could do about it!

Well, there is - and each small step counts toward a whole. Check out this helpful list of sustainable and eco-friendly office goods that can help diminish your office’s overall impact on waste!

Recycled printer paper

The ability to digitize documents has eliminated some of the need to print on paper, but not all of it. We’re still not in an era where we can totally eliminate the need for printer paper.

But we can use recycled printer paper and ensure that it goes to the recyclable bin after we use it. First, take steps to reduce printer use, and then make recycled, post-consumer paper available to your employees!

Sustainable inks and printer cartridges (like algae ink)

Where there are printed documents, there must also be ink. Most printer inks are non-toxic, but some inks and toners contain heavy metals and other minerals that are best left out of the environment.

However, some sustainably produced printer-compatible inks (such as vegetable and algae inks) may be compatible with your printer.

Recycled post-its

If your office makes post-it notes or memo pads available to its employees, go the extra step and make sure the post-its you do offer are recycled. That will help your office reduce its overall production of paper waste.

Pencils, not pens

Pens may never be fully replaced since what’s written in ink cannot be erased. But that is just one of the reasons that pencils are so great.

Modern pencils use graphite, not lead, which is mostly ecologically harmless. More importantly, if your employees write memos and notes using pencils, they can be erased later and rewritten, further reducing wasted paper.

Also, most pens are made with plastic; when they are used up, they are discarded. Wasted pencils amount to little more than wood shavings!

Recycled coffee cups, napkins, and paper plates

Offices waste a huge quantity of single-use paper and plastic goods every year. If you’re going to keep offering office refreshments to your employees, which is a nice perk at work, make the small change of giving them recycled paper goods.

Give our reusable water bottles.

Approximately 500 billion plastic water bottles are in the trash or recycling bin annually. That’s a lot of plastic.

Be a part of the solution by offering reusable water bottles to employees in your offices instead of single-use plastics. Plus, reusable water bottles can be branded!

Biodegradable garbage bags

What good is it if your trash bag is full of biodegradable waste and gets carted off in a plastic bag that lasts 10,000 years? Start using biodegradable alternatives!

Reusable and recyclable Eco-badges - an alternative to plastic name badges

If your office uses employee name tags or name badges, ditch the paper badges and flimsy plastic badges that only last a few months. Here at Imprint Plus, we offer a wide range of different metal and high-quality plastic badges and name tags that can be fully customized to reflect your brand and cut back on waste!

Air-hand dryers instead of paper

Paper towels in restrooms are an entirely preventable source of paper waste. If you must use them, purchase only recycled paper towels. Otherwise, consider an upgrade to electric air-powered hand dryers.

Switch office lighting to LEDs

For many offices, switching to LEDs will require no infrastructure upgrades. Many office suppliers sell fluorescent and incandescent retrofit LED light bulbs that are basically plug-and-play replacements for existing fixtures.

LEDs are much more energy-efficient and contain none of the harmful compounds of fluorescent lights. Some LEDs are also entirely recyclable!

Stapleless staplers

Thousands of staples are in the trash yearly, still attached to paper documents and packets. Staples aren’t necessarily harmful to the environment, but they cost your office money, and that’s inefficient.

There are modern staple-free staplers that punch a hole in the paper and tuck the fringes under so that the paper is bound together. Invest in some of these, and you can cut back on your staple expenses and keep them out of the trash!

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There, you will find some of the best creative and helpful ideas in the industry for replacing commonly used office goods with more sustainable, eco-friendly alternatives.

We can furnish you with a wide range of metal and plastic badges, plastic name tags, and even plastic badge holders (made without PVC!). Take a look through our collection of plastic and metal badges, and if you have any questions about how to create custom ID badges, call us at 800-563-2464.

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