The holiday season often includes parties, which can be a major source of paper waste. But that means it’s also a good time for offices to think about best practices for recycling, and the most effective ways to stay environmentally-friendly in the workplace.

While some of the tactics used year-round may apply as well, there are specific things that employees should consider to keep offices efficient during the holidays. Here are some of the ways that you can help prevent excess waste and make sure your company’s festivities don’t lead to a merry mess afterwards:

  • Know the holiday recycling schedule: Because of the holidays, your community will most likely have a special adjusted schedule for trash and recycling collection. If you are planning a party, make sure you think about the cleanup afterwards and when you will be able to properly dispose of all of the recyclables.
  • Don’t throw everything away: Some items don’t need to be recycled at all, and can be stashed away for next year. For example, in an article for the Scottsbluff Star-Herald, Kathy Kropuenske, executive coordinator of an environmental campaign for Scottsbluff, Nebraska, says that ribbon can be re-used. “Each year, if every family reused just two feet of holiday ribbon, 38,000 miles worth of ribbon would be saved,” she said, adding “That’s enough to tie a bow around the entire planet.”
  • Put everything in the proper bin: Paper and plastic products are easy to recycle, but some substances, like polystyrene, have to go to a specific processing center. Research to find out where to take your waste based on its contents, before the event even takes place.

Using green office solutions, businesses can keep up environmentally-friendly practices during the holidays and end the year on a high note for sustainability.