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.
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.
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.