Let's start with paper - the use of paper is a staple of the workplace; it’s easy to use and easy to throw away. An effective way to reduce paper waste is through email. When communicating with clients, determine if an email memo would do just as well as the paper version. Set up files on the computer to keep memos in the appropriate places. The use of zip drives and CD-ROMs can store the contents of a room full of paper. Notices to the staff can be paperless and even avoid the email box by placing a memo on a dry-erase bulletin board in the staff meeting room or kitchen. These boards also do well for presentations along with overhead projections or electronic software presentations, like PowerPoint. When distributing manuals to employees, think about using an e-book instead of a paper copy. If it is necessary to have a paper tablet to jot down a message, think reuse. Take old letters, junk mail, etc. cut to size and staple into a homemade tablet.
Always think before you print! If printing is necessary, use both sides of the paper. As far as eco-friendly practices, use recycled paper that is chlorine-free and/or use alternatives made from bamboo, hemp, and organic cotton.
Cut down on paper in the staff kitchen by avoiding paper products and go for real dishes and cups. Set up a schedule for employees to wash the dishes for the day or staff members can bring in their own dishes and be responsible for their own eating utensils.
Last, request to be removed from mailing lists that send unwanted catalogs, newsletters, and junk mail.