It is a common misconception that buying green office supplies can be expensive. Actually, it’s easier to buy green office products than ever before. The three largest office supply retailers, Staples, Office Depot and Office Max each carry thousands of reasonably priced products with recycled content and other great eco-friendly options, such as Office Depot’s Business Solutions Division (BSD) website. “Your Greener Office” is your portal to 6,500 green items, from paper to furniture to cleaning products. You can search and sort for specific items or brands, which are available for next-day desktop delivery at Boston University contracted prices. Office Depot also publishes The Green Book, a printed catalog that lists over 2,000 of the greenest items Office Depot has to offer. An interactive version of the printed publication is available online. The interactive online catalog is a good place to search for products and add the items directly to your shopping cart.
There are also a number of green office suppliers online such as thegreenoffice.com and other who offer thousands of eco-friendly products. There are even a few green promotional item companies. They are also good places to find green office supplies. Whether you’re buying copy paper or more advanced equipment, a purchasing decision is an environmental decision. So, if you want to start with some small stuff, basic office supplies are a great place to start. Recycled paper is a great place to begin. This is a resource that we waste quite a bit of when we just throw it away. Several websites sell a 10 ream case (5,000 sheets) of 30% post-consumer waste, 8.5″ x 11′ copy paper for relatively cheap. 100% Recycled Toilet Tissue is another good buy. If you buy it by the case (which leads to less unnecessary shipping boxes) it costs much less a roll.
There are several bins and other containers available from recycled plastic. For staples and paper clips, you can find a box of ACCO brand clips (100% total recycled/50% post-consumer waste) for at Office Depot, Office Max and Staples. A staple-free stapler punches a small tab in up to 7 sheets of paper, then tucks the tab into the slice in the paper. It’s a very resourceful approach. Also, there’s no need to remove pesky metal staples before shredding or recycling documents.
For pens, Pentel has its line of Recycology products or containers are made from a minimum of 50%, and up to 100%, recycled content or post-consumer recycled content. The ENERGY STAR website has several items that can be used in offices that are very energy efficient. These save lots of carbon and money in the long run.
It is very easy to make an office more eco-friendly. The companies are responding to consumer demands for more sustainability in the workplace.