Paper, pen, computer: what supplies to be greener at the office?

Have you taken new measures at home to reduce the burden on the environment? But what about your office practices? According to Ademe, we spend about 200 days a year at our workplace. For some people, their professional activity generates a significant amount of waste. According to Ademe, 120 to 140 kg of waste is still produced per year by an employee in the tertiary sector. Three quarters of this waste is… paper. Hence the importance of being informed about the origin of your paper, but also of paying attention to the rest of your office supplies, whose impact on the environment is not unimportant. But how do you make the right choices? Follow the leader.

Purchased and recycled paper

EcoFolio, the paper eco-organization and Ademe explain in a guide that: “recycled paper is better than any other paper”† In concrete terms, paper is a material that can be recycled “easy”underline the two organizations. “Up to 5 times in log”† After this cycle of 5 recycles, “the use of new fibers is necessary”† Therefore, Ademe and EcoFolio estimate, “although there is no official definition”that a paper “cannot be considered recycled if it does not contain at least 50% recycled fiber”

The virgin fibers must then come from “certified forests”† It is the guarantee of “conservation of wood resources” and prevention against deforestation.

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Knowing all this, how can you be sure of your sustainable paper purchase? Again, Ademe and EcoFolio have thought of everything. The two organizations describe the different labels and eco-labels used to identify the best products for the environment:

  • APUR : created by the Association of Producers and Users of Recycled Paper, this private label makes it possible “recognize or promote the presence of recycled paper in a minimum proportion of 50%”
  • FSC® is a label that “guarantees that the wood comes from forests that are managed according to ecological and social criteria” such as good forest management, minimization of environmental impact (this can relate to water, soil, biodiversity, etc.), conservation of protected forests but also respect for the rights of indigenous peoples.
  • PEFC : as the Ademe and EcoFolio write, “products with PEFC declarations or PEFC markings guarantee that the raw material comes from sustainably managed forests”† Here too, social and environmental criteria apply for this label, the best known in the world, such as maintaining the health and vitality of forest ecosystems.
  • The Blue Angel : If you happen to be shopping or buying in Germany, this eco-label can meet your needs. The latter requires in particular “use of 100% recycled fibres” and “allows to certify a maximum of 25% of the new fibres”

To complete the origin of the paper, Ademe also recommends pay attention to the practices of printing and stationery, some of which may have a negative impact on the environment. This applies in particular to the bleaching of paper pulp. While some structures use chlorine gas, alternatives “more ecological” distributed by the “ECF” and “TCF” labels† Note, however, that these listings are the sole responsibility of the stationery.

Do not hesitate to consult the Ademe and EcoFolio guide to learn more about the labels related to paper.

Photo: Shutterstock

Say goodbye to disposable pens

Disposable pens are handy, yes, but not exactly a gift for the environment. These items are essentially made of plastic and cannot be recycled. Every year, one of the most famous brands on the market, single-handedly produces, “6.6 billion plastic pencils, mechanical pencils, correctors and pens”we can read in a study byEco Alternatives† the equivalent “of at least three Eiffel Towers” in potential waste. Which alternatives should be preferred to reduce environmental impact?

in a movie, Raw offers some ideas:

  • turning to refillable pens, such as fountain pens or mechanical pencils,
  • choose pens made from recycled plastic

You can also get pencils (or wooden pencils) based on eco-labels, such as the FSC®“without dyes or varnishes that can be a source of pollution”as advised Geo† If you are a fan of coloring, consider investing in crayons or markers “washable and non-toxic” instead of highlighters, we can still read.

Photo: Shutterstock

Equipment that consumes less energy

Ademe once again has valuable advice for work equipment. As for the computer, for example, it is better to invest in a laptop (refurbished or used as long as possible). It actually consumes 50-80% less energy than a fixed computer. Labels can also help you choose the right products. For example, Ademe quotes: Blue Angelenergy starTCOEPEAT and 80 More† In the event of a breakdown, also have the reflex to have your equipment repaired. Extending the life of these digital devices remains essential to reduce the environmental footprint.

Not sure who to contact to repair your objects? The government has set up a special platform.

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