Frugal Family

Zero Waste Office

We’ve been really putting in the extra effort recently to reduce our waste and eliminate as much plastic from our lives as possible. I’m pretty clued up now when it comes to daily life and reducing waste (we’ve used cloth nappies and baby wipes, along side cloth sanitary protection for many years) and our food waste is now at zero. We’ve minimalised our wardrobes and our home is less cluttered. By owning less stuff, we most certainly produce less waste.

This weekend we decided that our lounge carpet was gross and beyond saving. We realised that replacing it would be costly and would involve buying more plastic backed underlay and plastic woven carpets. Instead we have made the most of our excellent condition floorboards and we now have a gorgeous natural wooden floor… for (almost) free.

But one area of my life is bugging me… our office space! This got me thinking… how could we create a zero waste office?

Keep things tidy- Get rid of all unnecessary items. Lots of junk can halt your creative flow and reduce concentration. You can buy compact office furniture, to hold your really important ‘bits’ but all you really need when working is a pencil and paper or just your laptop! A tidy and well organised office will not only look great, but seriously help your productivity.

Go paperless- Cancel any catalogues and phone books. Everything is available online these days, including paperless billing. This saves resources, postage and space within your office! No more piles of paper bills gathering dust. Junk mail often can’t be recycled due to having a glossy sheen, so make sure you get yourself taken off of any mailing lists. Simply email or call the company and ask to be removed from their list. If I do receive any junk mail, I save the best scraps for using as notepaper.

Don’t rely on the printer (and when you do make it zero-waste) – Don’t print unnecessarily. If you’re printing something to use as a note, write it on a piece of scrap paper instead. Purchase refillable ink cartridges and recycled paper, sold in paper instead of plastic wrapping. If I have to print something for personal use, I always print on an unused side of paper.

Reuse envelopes and waste paper- Envelopes can easily be reused, just make sure all previous addresses or barcodes have been crossed out. When my children bring letters home from school, or a rogue piece of junk mail lands in my letterbox, I cut the paper into small squares to be used as note paper. Shredded paper makes great packaging for keeping the contents of parcels safe from breakages.

Learn how to fold paper- You can eliminate the need for staples and paperclips by learning how to fold the corner of papers together. This method takes 3 seconds and you’ll never need a stapler or paperclip ever again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hazel Newhouse

Hazel is a mum to 3 daughters and a son, she lives in Bedfordshire with her husband, kids and pets. Hazel has written for various publications, and regularly works alongside popular parenting and gardening brands.

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