Reducing your carbon footprint in the office cannot only help the planet, but reduce operating costs and help increase employee productivity.

But where to start?

Reduce

The most effective way of reducing waste is not creating it in the first place. For example, printing can be reduced with one easy step: Think before you print. Can you share a document digitally instead of printing it? Apps like Google Docs allow you to write, edit, and collaborate online at no cost. Or could you encourage your staff to print documents double sided when possible? Avoid colour printing. Wherever possible print documents in black and white as it uses a lot less ink. Another big area of wastage is usually the office kitchen. Here are a few tips on how you can reduce waste there:

  • Provide reusable cups, plates and cutlery
  • Purchase compostable paper napkins
  • Buy consumables in bulk to reduce packaging waste
  • Use appliances with an Energy Rating Label

Reuse

We live in a ‘throw-away ‘society today. There are many ways we can reuse items and not only spare the environment, but reduce overall costs in the office.

  • Reuse binders and file folders
  • Use refillable water bottles instead of throw-away cups
  • Replace plastic bags with reusable paper bags
  • Reuse parcels

Recycle

Resources that are left over or have reached the end of their useful life should be recycled where possible. Separate materials that can be recycled, and dispose of other materials safely.

What you can recycle in NZ:

  • Glass bottles and glass jars
  • Tin, steel and aluminium cans, including empty aerosols
  • Plastic bottles from your kitchen, bathroom and laundry (most city councils only accept grades 1-3)
  • Clear plastic food containers
  • Pizza boxes (remove any leftover food)
  • Newspapers, magazines, advertising mail and envelopes
  • Paper and cardboard packaging
  • Egg cartons
  • Milk and juice cartons, including Tetra Pak ® cartons

More ways to get involved can be found here.

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