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New ideas
When your office is environmentally friendly
It's true, Mother Nature thanks us when we travel around town on an e-scooter, but then she gets mad when we arrive at our office, use sheets upon sheets of paper, open disposable water bottles when we're not even thirsty and keep documents inside a leather briefcase.

But things are changing: the tidal wave of sustainable initiatives that we’ve seen recently has brought to light sustainable, stylish, alluring and functional products that will help us reduce our environmental footprint. From paper that isn't actually paper to a bean that can be used in lots of different ways, here are 5 helpful solutions for a greener office.

1) Pave the way for stone paper

Paper. We use it a lot...more than we need to actually. Sometimes, many litres of water and fuel have gone into making the A4 sheet in our hands and it doesn’t even cross our minds. And that’s without even mentioning the trees used to make it: did you know that 500,000 trees are needed to print the Sunday editions of all the US newspapers, each week?

Recycled paper is a good compromise for the environment, but there is another type, which doesn’t break, crease and isn’t ruined when it comes into contact with water. It’s called stone paper. Yeah, you read that correctly: stone paper. The waste left over when processing marble is taken, mixed with a small percentage of recycled plastic and voilà! Plain old sheets of white paper are created. 0 litres of water are needed to manufacture it, 0 trees are chopped down and 0 chemical solvents are used—stone paper is very strong and water-repellent.

With stone paper, the old saying written words remain is absolutely true.

2) Soya made into ink

Yes, we can make more than just veggie burgers, tofu and sauce for sashimi with soya. It’s also used to make a convenient and highly recyclable ink (due to its intense colour, you only need to use a small amount), two characteristics that make it perfect for new pens on your desk and newspaper printing. In actual fact, the majority of daily newspapers that you read are printed with this ink, which, despite the fact it’s made from soya, is not edible: the oil from the beans is mixed with pigments and resins. So use it for writing, not culinary experiments.

3)     The unstoppable increase in reusable bottles

The American association Plastic Ocean has calculated that each American citizen uses, on average, 315 plastic bottles a year. To make one, you need 6 times as much water contained in the bottle itself.

To reduce waste and our environmental footprint, while remaining hydrated and happy at the same time, we can take a reusable bottle—which may be made of steel—to the office to fill with reinvigorating hot herbal tea or even iced tea in the middle of the morning.

4)     A chair and its previous lives

Speaking of plastic, for all you hardcore sustainability activists, there’s Felt, a stylishly modern chair (designed in the Netherlands) made by recycling sixty plastic bottles. For giving new purpose to waste, it has already won an award at the Green Product Awards 2018.


5)     For those on the go, sustainable options can help

Leather briefcases; plastic backpacks; synthetic fabric bags. Sure, these things aren’t environmentally friendly. But for those who are often on the go, whether it’s having to go to an English lesson during lunch or having to finish a presentation in the evening at home, they’re vital. In fact, we used to often turn a blind eye to the fact that these products are made from materials that are not eco-friendly at all. But not any more. We’ve become more sensitive to environmental issues. In actual fact, thanks to the impact made by sustainable fashion, bags made from plastic salvaged from the oceans, vegan briefcases and banana-leaf backpacks are being produced.

With these minor innovations, we’ll be able to reduce our environmental impact and nature will, quite rightly, be friendlier back.

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