These tips for a zero waste office, are ideal whether you have a home office, corner of the bedroom or rent an office elsewhere. From recycled stationery to sustainable desks, if you work with pets, just be sure to avoid toxic houseplants (and don’t have foliage visible from your window, to help prevent birds flying into windows. Turn out the lights where possible and use task lighting, draw the blinds.
- The Danes Plain Kraft Eco Paper Tape does the job of sticky tape, but without plastic. Keep a roll or two to hand when you need to seal an envelope, wrap a gift or frame a picture. It tears easily, and composts at end of use.
- Use this Taiwanese trick to bind 16 pages at a time (no stapler needed). Coccoina Glue Stick is a nontoxic almond glue. Keep all glue away from pets and children. Don’t buy tin version (the brush contains pig hair)
- To send a simple greetings card with envelope, buy from The Kindness Co-op. This company also makes nice greetings cards and A5 Notebooks, all printed on recycled paper. Stock up and you always have something nice to send, without chopping down a tree. And more interesting for the recipient, than yet another greetings card from the high street chains.
- Where possible, look for envelopes made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper (this means it comes from junk mail). Some envelopes say they are ‘recycled’ when it fact only a small percentage is. Although ‘paper from sustainable forests’ is better than knocking down old forests, in truth there is not much difference. Because to make fast-growing saplings (covered in chemicals), often old-growth forests are chopped down to grow them.
- British Hedgehog Preservation Society Gummed Envelope Reuse Labels have a cute ‘sleeping hog in bed’ design. Just tear one off the roll and stick it on an old envelope, to send to someone else, rather than buy new envelopes. And profits help to save our hedgehogs.
- Recycled Paper Supplies offers nice recycled envelopes, paper and card (personal, business or craft use). The Green Stationery Co offers an extensive range of biodegradable packaging supplies from recycled envelopes and delivery boxes, to biodegradable bubble wrap.
Recycled Paper Notebooks
- FA VO Notebooks are made in Portugal from recycled paper, sold in biodegradable sleeves. Depending on which colour your choose, you’ll find real flecks of leftover coffee, lavender or almond fibres in the covers.
- Vent For Change Recycle Paper Notebook (also as a set and A5 pads) are made in Bristol from recycled paper (a few of their items have leather covers, so are not listed here). Profits help to fund global education.
Recycled Pens & Pencils
- Milly Green Rainforest Pens are made from recycled paper and wheat straw, and use profits to help donate to rainforest conservation. Milly also makes recycled paper notebooks, to-do list pads and weekly planners.
- Vent for Change Recycled Pencils are made from recycled CDs and packed in recycled paper. Made in Bristol with profits helping global education. also in olive, coral and earth.
- Paper High Recycled Newspaper Pencils are in beautiful colours, handmade from newspapers, to help reduce global waste. Sold in a cardboard box.
Recycled Office Accessories
- Heart & Parcel creates the prettiest recycled office storage goods. Made in Hampshire, everything (bar the inside pages of their notebooks) is made from cotton off-cuts from the fashion industry.
- The Paper Hive is a pop-up cardboard desk, which packs away in 20 seconds, and has a pre-cut hole for cables and rounded corners. Made from 85% recycled materials, this water-resistant desk complies with home-use fire regulations (they recommend a full risk assessment). If you smoke, use a Boodi personal ashtray.
- Dragonfly Laptop Stand sets up in seconds to provide a way to use your laptop without a desk, without giving you neck, back or shoulder pain. Invented by a digital nomad, this is made from bamboo, with two height settings, to adjust to preference. Ideal if your ‘desk’ is the dining table (so the wrong height for your laptop and your head!)