Sustainability in the Office

When you hear the word “sustainable,” what comes to mind? I’m sure your workspace, such as an office, isn’t your first thought. However, there are many ways we can reduce our environmental impact in all areas of our lives, and not all solutions require expensive purchases.


Here are a few ways to make your office more environmentally friendly:

  • Reuse paper – Create a space for everyone to stack old papers that can be used as scratch paper. If it seems like the paper can’t be reused, be sure to recycle it!
  • Recycle ink cartridges – The University collects and recycles ink cartridges. See this flyer for more details.
  • Use online planners – Plans always change and online planners make it easy to reschedule things. Plus, some online platforms let you share your calendar with others, making scheduling a breeze with your coworkers.
  • Turn on “sleep” mode on your electronics – This helps save electricity when you are not utilizing your computers, tablets, phones, etc.
  • Arrange your office to utilize natural light – Not only can having your desk by the window energize you and provide vitamin D, it can also reduce the need to turn on as many lights.
  • Join a green team! The University of Rochester Green Reps program, keeps employees engaged with various ways they can incorporate sustainability into their work and personal lives.


There are a lot of new sustainable items that you can consider the next time you restock your supplies:

  • Stapleless stapler – That’s right! This stapler helps reduce waste by eliminating the metal staples. You can find many options through online shopping sites like Amazon.
  • Plantable pencil – Once the pencil is no longer usable, stick it into soil and watch it grow into a plant. There are various options such as thyme, sage, daisy, and carnation.


How will you change your work environment to make it more eco friendly?



Written by Emily Su, Class of 2022

 Photo Credit: istockphoto

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