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Frugal Family: Office Waste

The home office is a black hole of home waste.

The home office is a black hole of waste, eating up paper, pens, tape, staples, folders, ink cartridges, electricity; the list could go on forever. How can you eliminate this waste and reinvent your office space?

Start by de-cluttering your office space. This will make it so much easier to determine what supplies should go and what needs to stay. Recycle your old papers, file away financial documents, and pay your bills. As you look through your belongings, think about the impact of each item on your wallet and your environment. For example, do you need to have 30 pens, or can you purchase one stainless steel, refillable pen? Is there paper, printed on one side, that can be flipped over and used again? Can your shredded documents be used for compost or shipping material?

Take charge of your junk!

Stop junk mail, the phone book, and bills from coming to you in snail mail. Use dmachoice.org to stop catalogs and credit card offers and sign up for e-bills to reduce paper waste.

Purchase recycled paper for your printer, and look for the brand that is packaged in paper, not plastic.

There is a new invention, the staple-free stapler, that uses the paper itself to form a binding stitch.

Donate old books and magazines to the local library, or try to sell some of your books online. Sites like Amazon.com or BookMooch.com make it easy to sell or trade your books.

Use a power strip or smart strip to strategically power down devices that are sucking electricity while you are asleep or at work. Watch your utility bill go down, down, down.

After you have emptied your office of all the unnecessary and wasteful items, bring in a houseplant or a comfy chair to make the space more inviting. Paint the walls a sunny color, and enjoy your new, clutter-free work space.

Bryan Beckett September 29, 2011 at 12:40 PM
Setting up a sustainable office can be fun and is healthy. Visit sites like EcoGreenOffice.com for help and suggestions!

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