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Top 10 Items That Can Be Reused, Repurposed and Recycled at The Office

Now more than ever, businesses are looking to reduce costs wherever they can and understandably so.  Doesn’t this then provide the perfect opportunity to look into what items your business is throwing away and seeing how they can be reused, repurposed and recycled within the workplace.  There is always value in waste if you look for it, and the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” has merit for those creative minds lingering in the office. 

office furniture

Here are ten items which can easily be reused in the workplace – some might just surprise you.

1. Old or Damaged Office Furniture
New office furniture is expensive and continually replacing aging furniture can be a costly exercise.  Have a look in your storerooms for that old furniture covered in cobwebs and let your maintenance manager’s imagination run free!  With a little know-how, damaged furniture can be easily fixed, and a lick of paint or new material is all old furniture needs to bring it back to life.  Check out this awesome transformation https://lovegrowswild.com/2014/08/office-chair-makeover/.

office chair Office-Chair-Makeover-14


2. Paper Clips
Ah yes, the humble paper clip.  I know you have loads of them rattling around your drawers, and procurement tends to buy them in bulk, so there are usually plenty of stragglers.  Use them as a mini tool to reset your calculator and other electronics, unclog spray bottles or to hang plants to beautify your office space.

3. Cable Ties
Granted, this may not be to everyone’s taste, but you have to agree it’s rather avant-garde!  Take those unused cable ties lurking in the workshop, fasten them to a plastic bin and you have a unique light fitting.  If you have neon-colored cable ties on hand, even better.  Now that’s creative!

cabletie1 zip-tie-chandelier

4. Used Notebooks
Used notebooks pose a challenge – the paper can be recycled but what about the outside cover which most probably contains plastic?  Have a look at this tutorial https://dollarstorecrafts.com/2013/03/tutorial-refill-a-journal/ which shows how to easily refill a used notebook, making it good as new.

5. Permanent Markers

This was a revelation to me too – permanent markers can be brought back to life!  Simply remove the back nib or tip from the back of the marker and deposit a few drops of isopropyl “rubbing” alcohol onto the felt material inside.  Replace the back nib and shake well to ensure that the alcohol is absorbed.  It’s not actually the ink that runs dry first, it’s the solvent that the ink mixes with, so once the alcohol is absorbed, your marker should be ready to use. 

6. Scrap Paper

If your business sends out a lot of parcels to customers, consider reusing your non-confidential scrap paper as packaging.  Shred documents that you no longer need and use them as packaging instead of polystyrene or bubble wrap.

7. Organic Waste

It is amazing how much office waste can be composted.  Items such as tea bags, coffee grounds and food scraps can all be transformed into high nutrient compost, which can be used to fertilize any landscaped areas at the office.

teabag coffeegrounds

8. Toilet Roll Inners
I’m pretty sure your office goes through quite a few toilet rolls a week.  Toilet paper inners can be used as holders to keep computer cords in order.  Get those oil paints out and decorate them if you prefer to be a bit fancy.

toilet roll inner

9. An Old Stool
A wobbly old stool is not great for sitting, but it can be used to make an umbrella stand!  Give the stool a lick of paint and flip it upside down to make an innovative umbrella holder for your reception area.

10. Drawers

If your filing cabinet or chest of drawers has given up the ghost but the drawers are still in great shape, decorate them and hang them on the walls to display business memorabilia.  They can also be used as a cubby of sorts to store office supplies – free up that desk! Check out these awesome ideas for old desk drawers https://deavita.net/repurpose-upcycle-old-drawers-ideas.html.

drawer drawr

I hope we have given you some inspiration to transform those old office items into something special and unique.  After all, reusing and repurposing are the quickest ways to reduce spend and give the environment a helping hand at the same time. 

For more ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint at the office, click on the following link https://blog.greenoffice.co.za/11-tips-on-reducing-your-carbon-footprint-at-the-office.

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