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How to Reduce and Repurpose Home Office Supplies for Earth Day

By: Donna Chaffins | Date: April 16, 2013 | Categories: Environment, Green, Guest Posts

Guest Post

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Earth Day is on Monday, April 22 this year. Earth Day isn’t just about doing things outside that will clean up the environment. Being earth-friendly can come from what we do indoors, too. If you’re a telecommuter or do run your business from home, this is a good time to focus on how to reduce, reuse and repurpose your office supplies.

1. Use Less Paper

It may seem like a small thing, but working from home can generate a lot of paper, even if it’s only a few sticky notes a day. That’s about 800 sticky notes per year. If you like to stay organized, you can do it by using more earth-friendly office supplies.

Dry Erase Boards

A dry erase board instead of paper messages and notes can save trees and landfill space. Use different marker colors to denote importance or different tasks. When it’s time to remove something from the board, don’t use a paper towel or a tissue. Use a cloth. Microfiber towels work well. They’re a great green alternative to paper. Keep one on hand near the board. It’s washable and will last for a long time.

Microfiber Towels

You can also use microfiber towels for cleaning the office and around the house. It’s a good idea to separate them for different cleaning supplies, however, so you won’t wind up with glass cleaner on your wooden desk.

2. Reduce and Repurpose Office Supplies

This is also a good time to clean out the office supply cabinet. See what you can repurpose and reuse. You might find some things that you bought and forgot about; things that you can put to use right away.

For example, if you picked up some items for the purpose of taking care of business but never seem to use them, try repurposing them as school supplies for your kids. Pens, notebooks, staplers and paper clips are great for school projects and homework.

3. Recycle

If your kids love to draw, pull out that invoice paper that you don’t use anymore. Young ones find it fascinating to write on one page and have the image come through on the next sheet. Take that old letterhead and flip it over. Use it for drawing, writing out grocery lists and as filler for shipping.

Recycling and Shredding

Set up a recycle box or container. Throw any partially used paper in it to be reused. If it’s already lived out its useful life for writing and printing, put it in the shredding box. Shredding old paperwork is great for shipping orders to customers or sending gifts to friends.

The next time you order your discount office supplies for the home office, take the time to consider if and how you’ll use it. Try to come up with more than one purpose for it. Mother Earth will thank you, long after Earth Day has passed.

Nikki is an independent writer for DollarTree.com. Dollar Tree offers great deals on office supplies, party supplies and more.

15 Responses to How to Reduce and Repurpose Home Office Supplies for Earth Day

  1. Leilani says:

    Great tips! I rarely use paper to write things down, but when I do I always make sure to recycle.

  2. I shred old magazine pages and use those for packing!

  3. Tammy says:

    I keep a roll of paper towels around for really messy spills that I don’t want to have to wash out of a cloth – but microfiber cloths really are a staple in my home, I use them for pretty much everything!

  4. cami says:

    great tip!!! my hubby always brings home old papers from the office so the boys can draw on them they also feel like they are doing “daddies work”

  5. Thank you for the ideas (I love coming by here to read, you always offer interesting posts, suggestions, ideas, etc)

  6. Corina Ramos says:

    It’s funny you posted this today. I’ve been cleaning my home-office and moving furniture around today, in a real cleaning mode :).

    Ah yes, I have collected tons of paper since I started working from home and I’m always looking out for ways I can cut back on paper. One thing I use is TryNeat to scan my receipts. Now it’s all online and I no longer have to spend money on reams of paper.

    I have a recycle box and my doodle paper is recycled from the back of stuff I’ve printed and no longer need.

    Great ideas!

  7. These are some great tips.
    We try to recycle as much as possible, we really dislike that the community that we just moved to does not have recycling bins. 🙁

  8. Jenn says:

    Shredding makes good material for the compost bin too.

  9. Maria Iemma says:

    We reuse printer paper and use it as coloring pages for the kids – it is a shame to throw out a whole page when only a small amount of print is showing on the other side. Wonderful tips to help us all save the planet.

  10. Angela says:

    Great suggestions! I love my dry erase board.

  11. Toni says:

    Great tips on how to be a little more green 🙂

  12. Sheilacakes says:

    Thanks for the tips. I love dry erase boards.

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