• How To Have A Zero Waste Desk

    zero waste desk

    I wanted to create a post on how to have a zero waste desk which is something I am trying to implement into my daily and work life. Since completely decluttering and sorting out my tiny bedroom, I’ve gone through the various areas and removed anything that creates waste. This includes my desk area, since working from home and working on my blogging. I will also try to implement this into my office job and find ways of creating less waste.

    I thought I would share my learnt and picked up tips on how to have a zero waste and less cluttered desk area. Check out my tips below and get organising.

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    Scan all of your important/non important papers

    One very good trick I’ve learnt it to scan all of my important and non important papers and notes and email them to myself or store them in a folder on a hard drive and then shred them. This could be pay slips, invoices and letters from your bank or hand written notes on pieces of paper that you want to keep for reference.

    If you don’t have a proper scanner/printer, you can always download a scanning app to your phone and take pictures/scans that way to email to yourself.

    Throw instruction manuals to products/tech

    If you have lots of manuals and instruction booklets for products you have bought, you can probably chuck them all. More often than not, brands will have a PDF version online for you to download and read if you need them. Make sure you check before you chuck, if you can’t find it online – scan it all to yourself and save it somewhere and then you can chuck it.

    READ MORE: Easy Sustainable Swaps For Your Daily & Travel Life

    Scan and throw your receipts

    Most brands are pretty good and will accept a scanned copy of the original receipt. We don’t want to be drowning in lots of receipts, so it’s best to scan and throw them all away in the shredder (be careful it could have card details on the receipt – make sure you shred them properly).

    You can email the scanned receipts to yourself to keep for future reference, if you need to keep hold of them. If not, you can just throw them away. I always keep receipts for jewellery and technology pieces just in case something goes wrong or they get broken.

    My OneDrive screenshot

    I use my Personal Volt which is password protected to store photo copies of my Passport and other personal documents. I don’t really use my Pictures and Email Attachments folders to store anything but in my Documents folder I have sub folders for Work, Personal, Travel and Blogging for storing lots of documents and photos of documents I will need to use and return to. It’s so good and helpful having everything in one place and I can access anything whilst on the go on any device.

    Don’t buy paper post it notes

    Chances are you write something on the post it note and then chuck it once it’s been delt with, plus they clutter everything. I love that on Macs you can have the digital post it notes and keep them on your desk top for to do lists and things to remember which is so handy. Especially when you’re trying to cut down waste and clutter. I’m sure there are other versions for PC users. I know on OneNote there is a sticky note section which is a good alternative.

    Write down notes and passwords in OneNote

    I stopped writing my passwords down in a book as it was taking up too much space. I love writing my passwords down in a OneNote document and password protecting it to keep them safe. I can then access them when I’m out and about on any device if I forget my password or need to update it when it’s been changed.

    READ MORE: 10 Ethical Beauty Brands With Refills & Recycling Schemes

    Store documents and other items in OneDrive

    The same with OneNote, I love saving documents and other items in OneDrive. This way they are all stored in one place and I can access them wherever I go. I love writing things down that I normally would in a notebook, this way it cuts out clumpy notebooks on my desk that I don’t need. I’m trying to keep down my number of notebooks because I never really use them anyway and they take up too much space.

    Stop using staples

    If you need to keep certain papers together, I highly recommend things like paperclips, bulldog clips and supaclips (which can hold up to 40 and 60 sheets, depending on which size you get) which you can all order online or from stationary stores. This way you don’t have the waste of staples that you can only use once, and these items you can use multiple times.

    I have also found these really awesome staplers which can be used on small amounts of paper, up to 5 sheets or 10 sheets and it folds over a bit of the paper to hold them all together without the waste of staples.

    Buy refillable pens and markers

    Make sure you do your research and buy refills or refillable pens and markers instead of buying new ones when the ink runs out. This way you won’t be adding to the plastic in the landfill buy chucking away pens that can easily be refilled.

    You can also buy these eco wood highlighter pencils which can be refilled instead of buying those plastic highlighters. They are pricey but they will cut down repurchasing for sure.

    Use recycled and compostable office items

    Replace your plastic ruler with a recycled wooden ruler, wipeable and reuseable office planners/diaries, recycled paper reams, metal scissors and letter openers and wooden/metal stationary organisers.

    Print only when you really need to

    Working from home during lockdown has really taught me when I need to print and when I don’t. I run figure reports every month and I used to print them all out but I’ve come to realise I don’t actually and everyone can see them when I’m saved them digitally and emailed them out to everyone.

    Only print a paper copy when you really really need to. This will save your ink and also your paper supply to keep you more paperless in the office or around your desk. I have found so many ways of doing more things digitally to keep the paper and clutter at bay.

    Unsubscribe from paper newsletters, magazines and newspapers

    If you get promotional papers, magazines and letters sent to you for your job, be sure to unsubscribe from them and look into whether you can receive them online to save them being mass printed and posted to you.

    Create stationary holders out of old cans/tins and pots

    If you fancy getting creative or want the kids to help you create some stationary contains, get them all together with your crafty supplies and old empty tin cans or other containers to create some fun and quirky stationary holders.

    Cut out plastic protection cases on tech

    How many of us buy plastic cases to protect our phones, laptops or tablets? Why don’t we cut them out and buy recycled materials ones or silicone versions? I love my Pela Case phone case for my phone which is a silicone feel to it but is actually made from compostable materials and Canadian flex shive and plant based biopolymers.

    You can buy lots of other protection cases for your techy gadgets that aren’t plastic. If it’s silicone it will be easy to clean and keep it a lot longer than plastic which breaks easily but takes longer to compost down. Check out these awesome recycled and vegan laptop covers – here.

    Images used in this post are credit to Pexels.

    This post doesn’t implement the usual zero waste items such as reusable hot drink cups and water bottles and eating cutlery, but you can always add these to your list of objectives to tackle when it comes to zero waste.


    Which zero waste tips will you use? Let me know in the comments below.

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