Thursday, September 4, 2008

Green solutions for paper

One of the most common sources of waste in an office is paper. Fortunately, it's also one of the easiest eco-problems to address. Here are some tips for reducing the environmental impact of paper use in your office:

1) Switch from virgin paper to recycled paper for copiers, printers, and notepads. The Conservatree site has an excellent list of copier papers , along with their recycled content, availability and color choices.

2) Find downloadable or printable sources for common business forms, required employee paperwork and other paper products you would ordinarily buy in packages. Not only will you have the option of printing them on 100% recycled paper, you'll avoid the waste that occurs when official forms change before you've used up the package. And you'll avoid the materials used in packing and shipping.

3) Choose green sources for paper goods you have to buy. From labor law posters and job applications to file folders and business greeting cards, there are now green providers for most paper office products.

4) Make "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" standard business practice. Encourage less printing. Many documents can be read, edited and shared electronically. Make printing a last resort. Encourage employees to reuse unwanted papers as scratch paper. Provide recycling bins and teach employees what goes in which bin. Look for more green ideas in the article "Going green in your business."