Office

Swaps

Here's a list of ideas for your zero waste / sustainable journey. I hope this helps! As a preface:

Batteries
  • At their end-of-life, recycle them. These don't belong in the curbside recycle bin. Find a battery recycling program. Counties / cities offer this at a recycling center.
  • Opt for rechargeable batteries for common sizes.
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Binder

Often made with plastic.

  • Cardboard + Metal Binder - At end-of-life, the metal pieces are detachable and are recyclable as scrap metal and the paper can go in the paper recycling.
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Books
  • When you're done with a book, consider donating it to your local library or putting it in a Little Free Library for others to enjoy.
  • If you have an e-reader, take advantage of the low carbon footprint of buying (or borrowing through your library) e-books.
  • Support your local library. Yes, checking out books supports your library because it enables the library to prove their usefulness to the community.
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Cards
  • Consider sending e-cards via Paperless Post (several free options).
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Composition book
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Dry-erase makers
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Excess office / art supplies
  • Donate them to a local creative reuse center in your area. In the bay area, we have Scrap in San Francisco and Creative Reuse in Oakland. They both accept used art / office supplies.
  • Donate them to a school in your area.
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Junk mail / statements / bills
  • Opt for electronic bills and statements.
  • When you receive unwanted mail, look up the company's privacy policy and find a contact email. Tell them you want to opt out of receiving physical mail.
  • Opt out on DMAchoice.org.
  • Use CatalogChoice.org which will submit a catalog opt-out request on your behalf.
  • Use OptoutPreScreen.com if you don't want to receive credit card and insurance offers.
  • Use YellowPagesOptout.com to opt out of receiving the Yellow Pages phone books.
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Magazine
  • Consider switching to a digital subscription.
  • When you're done with it, consider leave it in a waiting room for others to enjoy.
  • Place it in the paper recycling.
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Markers
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Notepad
  • Find one made of 100% recycled paper, ideally with a high percentage of post-consumer waste.
  • Use scrap paper from junk mail, misprints from your office printer, etc.
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Paper (copy paper, printer paper)
  • Choose 100% recycled paper with a high percentage of post-consumer waste
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Pen
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Pencil box
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Pencil sharpener
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Pencils

Pencils are usually coated in paint. Mechanical pencils are often made of plastic, with lead refills sold in plastic packaging.

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Phone case
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Planner
  • Recyclable planner from Wisdom Supply. No: spiral binding, laminating, coated papers, plastic tabs, wasted paper
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Plastic scissors
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Plastic tape
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Plastic tape dispenser

    Tape dispensers are usually made of plastic.

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    Pocket folders
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    Ruler
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    Shipping tape / packing tape
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    Stapler
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    USB drives
    • Save files digitally, in the cloud. Note: Data centers do use a lot of energy, so this isn't perfect but it does possibly prevent some e-waste overall.
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