Preventing waste, or stopping waste before it starts, is the easiest, most effective way to reduce both purchasing and disposal costs. There are many simple strategies that have a tremendous payback. Think about putting some of these to work in your agency or company:
- Make double-sided copies. Be sure employees know how to make them on your copiers and printers. Better yet, program copiers to default to double-sided copying, saving paper use and purchasing costs. Require contractors to submit double-sided bid documents.
- Where practical, work with your suppliers, vendors and business partners to reduce disposable packaging. Use minimal, reusable or returnable packaging.
- Replace disposable products. Buy reusable coffee mugs, cutlery and crockery in place of single-use paper and plastic items.
- Reuse single-sided paper. Have it made into note pads or use it for copy or printing drafts.
- Reuse manila envelopes to route internal mail. Reuse file folders, envelopes and boxes.
- Centralize your file cabinets. Instead of having many duplicate paper files throughout your organization, store them in one place. Many can be accessible online or through your internal network. Reduce the number of telephone and other directories distributed, or put them on-line.
- Move toward a “paperless office” by using technology. Use online sites or shared drives to manage documents instead of making paper copies. Use voice mail or electronic mail instead of paper memos. Use fax/modems to fax and receive documents by computer. Use optical scanners and computers to create electronic documents to share and save.