This June the Yale Press Green Team welcomed a new group of talented summer interns with an introduction to recycling at Yale. Reaching out to new office-mates is a great way to maintain an office culture of sustainability. Many of the tips we shared with our interns could be applied in your own workplace, or at home.
Reuse “gently used” paper:
- All too often, someone prints a document that they end up forgetting about or not needing. Instead of recycling this paper, reuse it by either printing draft documents on the other side *or*
- Create scrap paper pads! Use a paper cutter or even just a ruler to cut or rip 8 ½ x 11 sheets of scrap paper in half, and fasten the sheets of paper together with a binder clip. Voilà, instant note pad! This also reduces the need to order note pads through our office supply manager.
Double‐sided printing and photocopying:
- Most printers and photocopiers have an option for double‐sided printing. Make this your default setting. You can also choose double‐sided printing at your computer when you print out a document.
Bring your own mug and glass to work:
- Try not to use paper cups, and take your own travel mug to the coffee shop.
Recycling with Terracycle:
- Terracycle is a company that upcycles used product wrappers into new products like purses, soap dispensers, notebooks and clipboards!
- For Terracycle you can collect:
- Empty candy wrappers (all brands, all sizes [this includes fun size and king size!], all types of candy)
- Empty Starbucks coffee bags (Starbucks only, any size bag of coffee beans)
- Empty chip bags (all brands, all sizes, and all kinds of chips [pretzels, too!]).
- For every bag you send in, a contribution of 2 cents will be paid to the organization of our choice. In addition, Terracycle will turn the bags into cool products.
- Terracycle also collects other difficult to recycle items including old pens, toner and ink cartridges, and more. Find out more about their programs on their website.
Here are a few books for further reflection on the effect our workplace culture has on the environment:
The Incidental Steward: Reflections on Citizen Science by Akiko Busch
Law’s Environment: How the Law Shapes the Places We Live by John Copeland Nagle
What does your office do to reduce, reuse, and recycle? Share your tips with us in the comments below.