Use, Reuse, Recycle

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As awareness grows as to the threats our consumer society poses to the environment, recycled products are making substantial gains in market share in numerous fields. It is certainly a huge step forward in terms of resource sustainability that materials which historically would have been discarded and incinerated are now being granted a new lease of life in a different form. It is however often overlooked that the process of recycling does itself involve the consumption of energy and additional materials. As such, in order to be truly environmentally ethical companies should strive to reuse prior to recycling. The following are some tips to help you to try and ensure you make full use of your office supplies and cut costs as well as aiding the planet.

Only Use Consumables When It Is Compulsory

It is inevitable that certain documents need to be printed and on occasion photocopied. The key to reducing the rate at which consumables are depleted is to regulate the printing of documents which don't necessarily require a hardcopy. As much correspondence is carried out by email, most communications do not need to be printed, nor do documents which can be digitally shared and stored. With reference to photocopies the same applies: rather than making multiple copies of documents in order to distribute, in many cases the information could just be emailed to the desired recipients, only to be printed if they deem it necessary.

Reuse Items Where Possible

Items such as folders and binders can be easily reused once finished with, by simply applying new labels. This principle can rolled out across the majority of consumables: obsolete printouts are ideal for rough work and note-taking, packaging materials from received parcels can be stored and reused when sending out packages yourself and dependent upon their condition so can padded envelopes.

If You Can't Reuse Something- Maybe Someone Else Can

With regard to items such as packaging materials it may well be the case that you or your department have no use for them, that does not however mean that there isn't someone in the building who wouldn't be able to. With any items which you are convinced you cannot reuse yourself, consider if they could be useful to others in their current form.

Even if you rigorously stick to the guidelines above, there will inevitably be some waste. It is this which should be recycled. If you reuse an item just once then not only are you saving the cost of using a new one, but also reducing your ultimate waste. If an item can be reused multiple times then it follows that you will make greater savings still and further reduce your waste output.


Written by Jamie Lyons- SEO Manchester on behalf of OfficeYoo Office Supplies

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