By Helen Wade, Product Marketing Director, VOW.

It’s Green Office Week from 8-13 May 2017 and the spotlight is on all things eco and what we can do to make our workplaces a little more environmentally friendly.

A few things that any workplace can do to score a few more green points are think about eco-friendlier purchasing, re-using what it already has and going up another level in its recycling.

  1. Quality, pre-owned mobile phones

When you realise four in five people are mobile phone owners, that changes the perspective of how much waste can be generated with just one type of product.

For cost, quality and security conscious business and consumer buyers, certified pre-owned (CPO) phones offer all the features of a new smartphone without the high price tag. CPO phones from VOW deliver all the OEM standards and security of a new phone without the associated price tag and buying these products helps any business to prove its eco-credentials.

  1. Recycle more

Did you know each employee generates 78kg of paper waste each year? By recycling in the workplace you are doing your business a favour. Rubbermaid estimates that businesses are losing 4.5% of their annual turnover through avoidable waste.

When Leeds Metropolitan University replaced its cardboard box paper and card recycling with Rubbermaid’s Slim Jim and Untouchable plastic recycling bins and Glutton Recycling Stations and posters, its recycling levels soon went up to 75%, with the University set to reach 90% recycling within 18 months.

A review of paper, glass and plastic recycling around a business is always worthwhile. Big Bins and Green Bins are available from the VOW catalogue and can help offices, warehouses and outdoor event organisers to separate and recycle waste wherever needed.

Rubbermaid also offers a wide range of products to actively manage and recycle waste, including desk side containers for paper recycling and complete indoor and outdoor recycling stations.

  1. Re-home furniture

If you’ve recently re-vamped your reception or just one area of the office and have only one or two items, such as a reception sofa or coffee table, to get rid of, consider donating them to a charity such as the British Heart Foundation or British Red Cross. There’s also the option of offering pieces at a greatly reduced price to employees of course.

  1. Trade your tech

For micro businesses and sole traders that may not have a supplier recycling their old tech, there are organisations that will recycle their old phones and give them cash at the same time. People can also donate their phone to charities such as Oxfam. Phones can be taken to the nearest shop or if there are more than a few phones, some organisations will organise collection.

Individual laptops and one or two pieces of electrical equipment may be accepted at some household recycling centres, where they will be stripped down and all the parts re-used or recycled.

For older electrical items that may be obsolete for a business and are just sitting around un-used, it could be worth finding out if employees, family members or friends do car boot sales where these old items could be sold on for mending or re-use. Bear in mind that anything containing confidential data should be thoroughly cleansed and checked before passing on to third parties.

  1. Pass on those pens

If you’re a business that deals with schools, or an interested parent or teacher, it’s worth looking at the Writing Instruments Recycling programme in partnership with Bic. This is a free recycling initiative for most writing instruments, including biros, markers, correction fluid and highlighters, but not wooden pencils and crayons.

  1. Don’t forget duplex!

And finally, it’s definitely worth remembering that printing on both sides of an A4 sheet can save a workplace an average £3,800 (4,500 Euros) each year.

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