A committment to recycling involves more than just tossing paper and cans in a bin for others to collect. It means you're committed to closing the recycling "loop" and buying products made from as much recycled content as possible - an action that creates demand for recyclables and reduces demand for raw materials.
Everyone from students to corporate purchasing managers can make a difference. Set a goal to buy at least 90% of your office supplies and enterprise equipment with goods made with recycled content.
Here are easy ways to buy recycled and close the loop:
1. Copy paper
Don't settle for any less that 100% post-consumer recycled content for your copy paper. All that paper you recycle has to go somewhere, and this is the best example of "closing the loop" in the office.
Clipboards made from either 60% post-consumer recycled plastic or 100% recycled wood (hardboard) are widely available and come in a variety of colors.
3. Paper clips
Next time you need to buy paper clips, make sure you look for 100% recycled content with at least 50% of that being post-consumer.
Pens made from recycled content are a little harder to find. Some companies make them from recycled cardboard, or you can try the "B2P" bottle to pen made by Pilot.
Go 100% recycled content all the way for your pencils - you can find them made from wood, newspaper, even old money.
6. Dry Erase/White board markers
Look for refillable markers made from 100% recycled aluminum. As a bonus, the inks are non-toxic, and long-term cost is lower than buying disposable markers.
7. Post-It Notes
Post-it notes are like copy paper; there's no reason NOT to buy 100% recycled content. And by the way, it's fine to toss used post-its in the single stream recycle bin. Paper mills can remove the adhesives during processing.
8. Clear tape
"Stick up" for recycling: if you buy clear tape in disposable dispensers, choose containers made from 100% recycled content. They are easy to find and are then easy to recycle.
9. Manila Envelopes
Like copy paper and post-it notes, manila and other mailing envelopes are widely found made from 100% recycled content. Buy these!
10. Chair mats
You can even find chair mats made from 100% recycled plastic.