Celebrate “America Recycles Day” and Go Green in the Workplace
November 27, 2018
By: Cathie Ericson
Most people are familiar with “Earth Day,” but did you know there is also a day devoted entirely to recycling? You can celebrate America Recycles Day on Nov. 15, 2018, by hosting an event or taking a pledge to make sure your office is enjoying the benefits of recycling today––and all year long.
While for some it may seem like a no-brainer to recycle, the reality is that the current recycling rate is only 34 percent, according to America Recycles Day’s website. Office Depot is committed to helping businesses everywhere further enjoy the benefits of recycling all year long.
If you’re wondering how you can make your office recycling-friendly, read on for some great ways your business can limit its footprint and go green.
1. Establish a green committee
What gets measured gets managed, so try to find volunteers who are willing to create a baseline assessment of your office’s recycling rate and then offer suggestions for improving it. To help incite participation, you can share the benefits of recycling and then create a measurement mechanism, such as pounds collected or reduction in trash, and hold an office celebration when you reach your goal. You can even kick off your effort as you celebrate America Recycles Day.
2. Recycle ink and toner cartridges
More than 375 million empty ink and toner cartridges are thrown out every year, according to Energy Central, a news site for electric power industry professionals. They can leach volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and heavy metals into the landfill, and that can create a lot of damage when you consider that it takes an estimated 1,000 years for a print cartridge to fully decompose in a landfill. That’s why Office Depot makes it easy to recycle by providing free, prepaid UPS shipping labels. Since 2003 Office Depot’s recycling program has helped keep more than 65 million ink and toner cartridges out of landfills.
3. Print wisely
In most businesses, a paperless office just isn’t feasible. However, there are ways you can reduce your paper trail, such as saving files electronically rather than physically printing them, reducing your font to put more on each page and using double-sided printing and copies whenever possible. Try to make sure the paper you use is made of recycled content itself, and keep recycling bins handy near every printer and in every meeting room and common space.
4. Recycle your tech
Recycling tech is about more than just PCs and monitors. Office Depot’s Tech Recycling program accepts all kinds of devices and peripherals, such as keyboards, cards, cables, printers and even small TVs, DVD players and more. You can send in your unneeded components for a nominal fee that covers the cost of the box, shipping and recycling, and your outdated tech will be given a new life through the recovery of glass, plastic, copper, aluminum and more.
5. Figure out how to recycle the “mystery” stuff
Sometimes when you’re not sure what can be recycled—or where—it’s tempting to just toss it in the trash. Instead, you can seek a volunteer to research where to recycle some of those more challenging items locally. Consider holding a “brown bag” informational lunch session to review recycling “dos” and “don’ts,” and you can place clearly marked containers in a central location.
Office Depot will even deliver those products in an environmentally friendly way. Its GreenerOffice ™ Delivery Service uses paper bags instead of corrugated boxes, which use less wood to produce and contain 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. The reusable plastic totes that protect the bags during transportation contain 60 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.
Ready to work on making your office green? Check out Office Depot’s complete “Guide to Buying Green” for more information on how to make smart choices for recycled products in every category.
About the Author
Cathie Ericson is a freelance writer covering business and consumer topics. She creates branded content for Fortune 500 companies, and her work has appeared in LearnVest, Costco Magazine, Forbes, TheGlassHammer.com and IDEA Fitness. Follow her @cathieericson.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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