Go Green All Year Long with Eco-Conscious Office Products

It doesn’t have to be Earth Day for you to be kind to the planet. From eco-friendly practices like printing on both sides of a page to using recycled office supplies and eco-friendly cleaning products, your office can be greener in no time.

And the benefits go beyond helping the planet, also helping your health and energy costs. “Eco-conscious products can help you reduce waste and the use of resources, save energy, protect your health by eliminating harsh chemicals and promote responsibly sourced raw materials,” explains Jake Swenson, Staples’s director of sustainable products and services. “You don’t have to pay more for them or sacrifice on quality. Cost-competitive, high-quality options exist in tissue and cleaning supplies, Energy Star–certified technology and lighting, sticky notes, coffee and tea, toner, pens and many other products we sell at Staples.”

Here are just some of the eco-friendly options offered by Sustainable Earth by Staples™ and other brands.

Paper Products


A number of factors can contribute to a product’s being “green,” from how it’s made to its impact on the environment during or after use. Just because a product is made from trees doesn’t mean it's bad for the environment. Forests are a renewable resource and harvesting responsibly supports the forest ecosystem, society’s needs for wood and fiber, and helps keep forests as forests instead of converting them to agriculture or subdivisions. The good news is that responsible forestry practices are common in the North America. In addition to looking for products made in North America, by choosing Forest Stewardship Council certified paper products, you help promote the most rigorous forestry management practices.

Domtar Earth Choice: This high quality paper is FSC-certified and endorsed by the Rainforest Alliance. Each sale helps support the conservation efforts of the World Wildlife Fund. The products are made in the U.S. or Canada from trees harvested in North America. Plus you can trace its origins, the specific mill(s) it was manufactured in, and its environmental, social and financial impacts all at The Paper Trail, Domtar’s industry leading transparency platform.

If you’re looking to use recycled or alternative fibers, there are great options to choose from there as well.

Staples 30% Recycled Paper: This paper is FSC certified and contains 30% post-consumer recycled fiber, helping to both promote leading responsible forestry practices and paper recycling and reuse. Made in the U.S., it’s produced from recycled paper and trees from the U.S. and Canada.

Sugarcane-based paper: After the sugarcane fiber is crushed to extract sugar, it is pulped and converted into paper, turning agricultural waste into a valuable product. Best of all: Sugarcane can be grown more than five times faster than trees. Sustainable Earth by Staples offers sugarcane-based copy paper, filler paper, wirebound notebooks, writing pads, easel pads and more.

Remanufactured and Recycled Products

In 2014, Staples recycled its 450 millionth ink and toner cartridge. Some of those cartridges are remanufactured into new cartridges that cost 10% to 15% less than a brand-new cartridge. More significant is the environmental impact: Using remanufactured ink and toner cartridges results in a 38% reduction in total energy use and a 36% reduction in global warming potential, according to environmental studies conducted by the Rochester Institute of Technology.

Of course, not every cartridge meets remanufacturing requirements for ink and toner cartridges. In those cases, the cartridges are ground up to manufacture a whole other line of products, like staplers and calculators. One example among thousands of products Staples sells containing post-consumer recycled materials is B2P® Ballpoint Pens from Pilot. These are the world's first pens to be made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles and come in variety of ink colors.

Cleaning Products

Green cleaning products clean just as effectively as regular cleaning products do, but they’re made with natural, nontoxic ingredients that are safer for the environment. And because they don't contain harsh chemicals, they’re less damaging to most surfaces and support improved indoor air quality for you and your colleagues or family.

If you’re looking for green cleaning supplies, you have multiple options, including all-purpose cleaner from Sustainable Earth by Staples and others from brands like Clorox Green Works, Seventh Generation and more. The Rubbermaid HYGEN cleaning system is a great option too; the bucket filters the dirty water, allowing it to be reused and used longer, thus conserving water.

Energy-Saving Products

In addition to Energy Star–qualified technology and lightbulbs that help you save energy and money, Staples offers innovative solutions like Staples Connect. You can use Staples Connect to control lights, thermostat, locks, alarms and other aspects of your home or office, even when you’re not there. Save energy by turning down the heat or air conditioning, turning off the lights or setting the thermostat to stay at an ideal temperature.

The Staples Connect app works on any smartphone, tablet or PC, and links into a hub that syncs with the devices and systems you want to control. Just connect the hub to your broadband wirelessly or by Ethernet cable, and you'll be communicating with your enabled appliances and electronics and conserving energy in no time.

Another innovative solution for small businesses comes from HP. Their OfficeJet Pro X series of printers deliver high quality documents at blazing speeds and low cost. In fact, they can print up to twice as fast as comparable laser printers and cost half as much. Plus they use up to 84 percent less energy and generate up to 94 percent less packaging waste than comparable laser printers. What’s not to like?

Additional Ways to Go Green

Staples offers other eco-friendly options:

  • Tech trade-in: Want to to sell back a used iPhone®, smartphone, iPad®, tablet, laptop, eReader, iPod® or MP3 player? Simply visit our Trade-In Web site and follow the instructions, or visit a Staples retail location. You’ll receive a Staples gift card you can use online or in store, and your used product will be repurposed. If your device doesn’t have trade-in value, Staples can recycle it for free.
  • Tech recycling: Visit your local Staples retail store to recycle your old office electronics and rechargeable batteries for free. No purchase is necessary, and it doesn’t matter what brand or condition the items are in. You can bring monitors, printers, shredders, computers, mobile phones and more to Staples for responsible and secure recycling.
  • Ink recycling: Recycle your ink and toner cartridges in store for $2 back in Staples Rewards®. Staples Rewards members can also log in to staplesrewards.com to recycle ink or toner cartridges online. You'll receive a prepaid shipping label you can use to send the cartridges back for $2 back in rewards.
  • Copy & Print: Staples offers a number of eco-conscious copy and print papers that are made with 30%, 50% or even 100% post-consumer recycled content and certified by the FSC to support responsible forestry practices. And our Copy & Print Centers offer services including paper shredding and purchasing carbon offsets.
  • Solar power:  Staples has teamed up with EnergySage to encourage small businesses and homeowners to go solar. Get up to $2,000 in a Staples gift card as a thank you for going solar when you visit the Staples Energy Sage Marketplace.

Keep the Environment in Mind

The products mentioned here are made with renewable resources, recycled materials and/or are third-party certified to validate their environmental attributes. Whether you opt for alternative papers, remanufactured toner cartridges, sustainable office supplies, eco-preferable cleaning supplies or green cleaning products, or some combination of all those things, you’re helping to lessen your impact on the environment.

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