Highlighters might seem like small beans but BC Hydro estimates that office supplies account for 10 per cent of all landfill waste in British Columbia. (Similar statistics apply to most provinces.) Although many businesses are now sourcing paper with recycled content, those pens, highlighters, staplers, and ink cartridges still add up.
But there's good news! Refillable highlighter brands are on the market, much like ink cartridges for photocopiers and printers. Ask for them at your local office supply store or check on-line. Another simple way to reduce waste is to avoid over-purchasing. You should also select sustainably-produced supplies.
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I suggest you set up a green team for your workplace. Businesses emit lots of energy. Everything from lighting and heating to computers and photocopiers use up plenty — and that's not to mention emissions from industry and staff commutes.
The David Suzuki Foundation has a free toolkit to help you build a cleaner, greener workplace and save your organization time and money. You'll build stronger relationships with the people you work with, and help the planet and your organization in the process. After all, you spend as much or more time with your co-workers than anyone else in your life.