Waste Reduction & Recycling

Basic Ideas to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


  • Set your photocopiers and printers to print on both sides by default.
  • Make computer files, not paper files when possible
  • Get your address removed from junk mail lists
  • Buy in bulk to reduce packaging
  • Buy concentrates
  • Buy your coffee at a store where you get a discount for using own mug
  • Reduce excess packing
  • Permanent dishes, napkins, etc.
  • Print documents single spaced, even for drafts
  • Reusable or canvas bags
  • Desk-top trash cans, desk-top compost cans
  • Label trashcans as landfills (with picture of landfill) and include cost of depositing trash in landfill
To the top


green reusable bag
  • Reuse envelopes and send them through the mail again whenever possible
  • Have each staff person set aside paper that they use on only one side
  • Encourage staff to use reusable coffee mugs
  • Invest in rechargeable batteries and battery chargers
  • Donate leftover food to people or animals
  • Reuse corrugated moving boxes internally.
To the top


  • Have office wide recycling competitions with prizes for whoever reduces/reuses/recycles the most
  • Buy "recycled" toner cartridges – you’re not recycling if you don’t buy recycled
  • Use office status reports on recycling and waste reduction rates to let employees know how the office is doing in terms of waste prevention and recycling
To the top


U.S. Department of the Interior

Greening of the Interior