How to reduce paper waste at work in 6 simple steps
Updated: Jan 4
Would you like to reduce the amount of paper used in your office? Keeping paper waste at work to a minimum could make a big difference to the environment. Unrecycled office waste is primarily made up of paper. According to studies conducted by Kyocera, the average UK office worker uses 45 pieces of paper per day, two-thirds of which is wasted. Over 9.9 million tonnes of paper are consumed in the UK each year, which requires 24 trees to produce. The use of paper needs to be reduced, or better yet, we need to go paperless. Furthermore, 61% of people believe businesses must consider sustainability.
1. Before you print, think
It's obvious that printing less is the best way to reduce paper waste in the office. For some of us, printing out meeting agendas and presentations has become a habit. When we really think about it, how often are those handouts referred to again? Most of them are either left in the room or thrown away.
When scheduling your next meeting, include the agenda in the Outlook invitation or email attendees your presentation beforehand. By having a soft copy, they are able to make notes or comments and refer back to it as needed. Cloud storage and sharing are available for all documents.
To help the world move toward paperless, Base Solutions Ltd embraces technology. Our team utilises internal and external software to stay on top of projects and allow ease of access when needed. It’s a decision that positively impacts our budget, efficiency, and brand positioning as well as the world at large.
2. Keep notes electronically
A great way to reduce paper waste is to use online note-taking alternatives instead of pen and paper if you're a note-taker.
The simplicity of Evernote's functions, its ability to be used across multiple devices, and its widespread popularity make it a favourite. Notes can be shared between teams or collaborated on. Microsoft OneNote is great if you want an app that feels more like a paper notebook. Organize everything in a 'book', colour code it, and store it. We also use Microsoft To-Do so we can assign tasks and plan our day. You don't have to type up your notes later with these handy tools. Apple users can take minutes using Apple Notes.
3. Upload your files to the cloud or online
There is a growing trend among businesses to use online file storage programs. Box and Google Drive are two of the services we use. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
There is a lot of use of Google Drive, perhaps because it supports many formats, can be edited online using familiar formatting functions, and can be shared with a team or a single person. You can store multiple images and other content with 15 GB of free storage, too.
While Box is similar to other cloud-based storage products, it allows us to have complete control over our data. In order to ensure security, we ensure our internal platforms are up to our high standards. In addition to reducing paper waste, it allows us to store documents securely.
4. Try avoiding clusters of desks by using hot-desking
Even though hot-desking can be an adjustment at first, it actually keeps paper use to a minimum. You can't accumulate papers if you're sitting in a different seat every day. Consider hot-desking if you want to motivate your team to reduce paper waste.
5. Encouragement and support of a paper-saving culture.
In order to reduce paper waste and impact the environment positively, an internal culture has to reinforce the paperless message. Base Solutions is committed to helping businesses become paperless, and our office culture reflects that as well. Our stationery cupboard isn't overflowing. Occasionally, we order pens and highlighters, but we don't do so regularly.
Instead, staff make one-time requests when they need a specific item. Base Solutions Ltd always encourages employees to take positive steps to create an impact on the environment.
6. Don't forget to keep recycling bins nearby
If you're aiming to achieve a paperless office, you'll still need to properly dispose of paper waste. Check there are labelled waste paper recycling bins available. It is not our personal bins that are used to reduce recyclables being thrown away. Increasing paper efficiency is one of our top priorities.
With these simple 6 steps, any business can begin its journey towards becoming paperless. Once the right motivation and procedures are in place, these steps will become part of your daily routine in no time and will benefit our environment in the long run. Environmental issues and management are becoming one of the most talked about topics and since our future depends on our actions, why not begin now?