Office supplies are a $21 billion dollar a year industry in the United States alone, and for the most part, companies spend this money on disposable products. Six billion pens are thrown away each year along with 15 million pounds (6.8 kg) of transparency film to name just two examples. Carefully watching what we use and only using what we need can prevent a lot of this waste as well as conserve the resources required to make the products we need at work.
Check the inner recesses of your desk and office before you request new supplies. Chances are you already have plenty of supplies. Use up what you’ve already got and then try not to ask for anything you don’t absolutely need. Keep just one of everything whether it’s a single pen, one pad of sticky notes, or a lone box of paper clips.
If possible, use refillable pencils and pens. When these aren’t an option, use pencils instead of disposable pens whenever you can—they create less waste and are made from renewable resources.