Your Guide to Buying Eco-Friendly Office Supplies
If you’re a business owner, work from home, or simply have office space somewhere, there are many ways to purchase green office supplies, save money and resources and above all, generate less waste in the environment. And yes, I am also talking about reducing your carbon footprint. By making these efforts, your eco-credentials become a selling point with customers who care for the planet, many of whom most generally prefer to buy from companies who share their concerns.
The first thing to do is implement a recycling program, as it dictates your green office supplies which align themselves with the goal you want to achieve: sustainability.
Even with a recycling program in place, it’s still important to note that before you buy products and supplies for your office, do your research and find suppliers with a clear, verifiable commitment to sustainability. In other words, be sure your supplier is a fellow green thinker. These could be suppliers of stationery, office furniture, electrical equipment, etc.
Next, make wise purchases. In order to do this, take the time to inform yourself on what exactly it is that you are buying. For example, when you choose green office supplies, you should look for supplies that are made with sustainably grown products.
Depending on what office supplies you need, here are some things to consider:
Copy Paper: Choose paper made using a large percentage of recycled materials.Try paper made from 100% post-consumer fiber, or hemp paper. Although pre-consumer (industrial) recycled paper is still a good option, look for paper with more post-consumer recycled content whenever possible. Additionally, aim for paper that’s chlorine-free, and made from renewable resources. If you’re really conscientious, verify that the paper is FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) Certified. It’s a bit more expensive but paper with FSC certification guarantees adherence to sustainability from the tree to the shelf when you purchase it.
Also, bear in mind that copy paper made from recycled fibers:
Folder Files: These are a staple in most offices and the green office is no exception. So if folder files are on your list, be sure to to buy ones that:
- meet the EPA Comprehenive Procurement Guidelines
- are 100% post-consumer recycled content
Always choose providers who offer green office supplies and printing services. This means that sustainability is important to them. Remember that some printing inks are more eco-friendly and less toxic than others. When you consider that a lot of the soy we purchase is genetically modified, and in many cases, anything but organic, it stands to reason that soy-based inks are therefore not the best alternative. Don’t get carried away by the label “organic” Not everything that’s labeled organic is organic.
Ink Cartridges: Many people wonder which printer ink cartridges are best for the environment. When it comes to finding an eco-friendly printing, there is one basic truth that governs: the fact that recycled ink cartridges are more eco-friendly than store-bought ones. They’re also cheaper, so why not kill two birds with one stone and enjoy the cost benefit as well. Another tip is to go for recycled printer cartridges with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds).
Staple-Free Staplers: First of all, they are much safer for children to use, and are part of your green office supplies. Other benefits include:
- Eco-friendly designs, made of recycled materials, and produce less waste of resources
- Ergonomic design and compact size
- A power-assist mechanism that reduces the amount of force needed
Rock Paper Notebooks: If you need notebooks that are eco-friendly and durable, consider notebooks made from rock paper. This is the new standard when it comes to paper. It’s stronger and more sustainable than traditional paper products made from timber. In case you’re still not convinced, consider that rock paper is:
- Tear resistant
Biodegradable Pens: These are green office supplies’ pens that are 98% biodegradable. The best quality biodegradable pens are made from a potato-based bio-plastic, as opposed to the usual corn starch. Furthermore, these pens boast FSC-certified packaging which is made from 100% recycled paper and printed with vegetable inks.
Green office supplies are important to green-minded businesses. If you’re new to the green concept, choose only green office products and supplies for your business, and help make a positive impact on the environment. For more information on important sustainability issues, join us at Healestate, and learn about green office supplies and other sustainable products and services.