Waste Not

attempting to waste less and live more deliberately

Your home away from home, the office…

1 Comment

The breakdown: 8 hours at work, 6 hours awake at home, 1 hour in the car, 9 hours in bed.


If you are like me, you spend a whole lotta time at work. For this reason, when attempting to make a lifestyle change (no matter what the change may be) it would be a mistake to only focus on home sweet home.  So today, we are focusing on creating a Waste Not Office!


  • Recycling – This one is pretty obvious. If your office doesn’t already recycle, encourage them to! If they refuse, bring a bag to work, collect your recyclables everyday and then take them home to finish the job. You may feel silly doing this, if you do, google image “landfills” this should give you enough motivation; and who knows, maybe your boss will admire your dedication and give this whole recycling thing a second look! OR they will think you are a weirdo, either way its a win win!
  • Learn your companies recycling policy on the odd items like batteries, printer cartridges, and the like.
  • Purchase post-consumer recycled office materials like envelopes, paper, and the like.stack of paper

a shameful pile of print happy

  • Don’t get print happy! Only print when necessary and when you do, print double sided, reduce the font, and single space when able.
  • Check and double check all documents before printing! How sad to have to reprint a whole document just because of one little error!enotes
  • Hand written notes vs. electronic notes. Weigh the options and choose what works best for you. (hint, the electronic method involves less paper waste)
  • Use it up! If you must take physical notes as I sometimes do, make sure you get the most out of that paper! Singles space, both sides, cover that paper with chicken scratch before you must recycle it!
  • Consider using a dry erase board.
  • Put a cap on it! By storing your pens and markers correctly, you can extend their life.
  • Details, details, details. Consider using paperclips that you can use over and over rather than staples.holder
  • Get creative rather than buying new plastic desk organizers. A tin can makes a perfect holder and a stack of paper is perfect for elevating a monitor. moniter stack
  • Cut back on the trips. I understanding wanting to get away during a break,but trust me that coffee down the road is not worth sitting in noon time traffic, wasted gas money, and filling the air with smog. Not relaxing!
  • Carpool, take public transit, walk or ride your bike.
  • Pack your lunch and snacks! Saves money on gas, save money on food, and likely what you bring will be healthier and involve less packaging.Picture 003
  • Create a happy place! Investing in a stash of high quality teas has helped me cut back on unnecessary trips into town to spend way too much money on mediocre coffee. If your happy place involves coffee, make it at work using a personal french press or coffee cone.
  • Love k cups but hate the waste? Check out their reusable options. favorite mugs
  • Find mugs and glasses you love! Not only will this encourage you to hydrate more and refuse disposable cups, you will also feel fancy.
  • Bring your own dishware and utensils to work. Disposables are simply not an option.

Just be aware of how much you use. The office is full of waste; probably because we feel no real ownership of the place, after all, it’s not our home.  This is understandable, but I would venture to say that the waste we create is our own and we should take responsibility for it no matter where we are.

How do you create a waste not office?



One thought on “Your home away from home, the office…

  1. Good tip about using dry erase board for daily task lists — thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s