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VA Green Routine


Waste Reduction Tips

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  • Save and reuse office supplies such as binders, folders, and clips. See related fact (1)
  • Encourage reusable dishware at canteens and cafeterias.
  • Conserve paper by using signs in a central location instead of passing out flyers.
  • Create a temporary location for unused office supplies.
  • Where handouts for a meeting are necessary, email them to attendees to reduce the likelihood of excess printouts. See related fact (2)
  • Edit electronically, use projectors rather than handouts.
  • ALWAYS use double-sided printing and copying. See related fact (3)
  • Single-space documents when possible.
  • Share copies of internal publications and documents.
  • Post office announcements on bulletin boards.
  • Reuse or eliminate fax cover sheets.
  • Use reusable or two-way envelopes and mailing pouches.
  • Utilize internal email and web communication tools.
  • Use paperless technology such as a SharePoint meeting workspaces or website, LiveMeeting or video-telephone.
  • Save energy on lights and air conditioning by turning them off when not in use.
  • Use reusable coffee filters.
  • Where appropriate, save paper by setting printer margins to .75.
  • Keep a paper savings tray by every printer so employees can redeposit paper that has text only on one side (ex. non-sensitive fax printouts).
  • If printers have multiple paper trays, reserve one for the reuse of scrap paper that has text on one side.
  • When printing use the “shrink to fit” function where appropriate.
  • Proofread your work carefully before printing.
  • Save toner ink by printing “draft quality prints” which use less ink.
  • Try saving paper by using the reduction feature on your copier.
  • Remove your name from junk mail lists.
    Direct Mail’s — Do Not Mail List External link to a government website
  • Use reusable coffee mugs and lunch boxes.
  • Don’t fill an entire coffee kettle to make one cup.
  • Buy sugar, cream and other supplies in bulk containers, not individually wrapped.

Did you know…

3D question symbol
  1. …that every day, Maryland homes and businesses throw away 41 million pounds of solid waste? That is enough to make a wall (3’W x 6’W) that would go from Baltimore to Miami nearly 6 times.
    Maryland Department of the Environment, 2005 External link to a government website
  2. …that the average U.S office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper a year?  The average American uses approximately one 100-foot-tall Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products per year.
    EPA — Wastes - Resource Conservation - Common Wastes & Materials - Paper Recycling External link to a government website (citing Oregon Department of Environmental Quality & Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory)
  3. …that the average employee wastes 1.5 lbs of paper each day?
    Florida Department of Environmental Protection — Reduce Reuse and Recycle for National Clean Off Your Desk Day External link to a government website