Thursday, September 19, 2013

Reduce-Re-use-Recycle Programs: Save Money and Planet Friendly!

Did you know that the average U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper per year?  Whew! 

Are you looking for a ways to be more planet friendly?

At Michigan Computer Supplies.  We continue to improve our efforts to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle paper, toner cartridges and more. 

Below are a few tips that may help you save costs, eliminate clutter and be more green at the office and at home.  Try to incorporate a few into your day and encourage your co-workers, friends and family to do the same. 

  • Make less copies, circulate or share reports and memos.
  • Proofread documents prior to printing.
  • Don’t use fax cover sheets.
  • Print on both sides.
  • Design advertisements, newsletters and correspondences to be mailed without envelopes. The post office prefers stickers instead of staples.
  • Use email to send memos and reports.
  • Use a staple free stapler.
  • Remove duplicate names and out of date entries from mailing lists.
  • Make computer files instead of paper files with the use of removable hard drives, USB or “jump drives” and web programs such as dropbox or to back up your data. Choose programs that secure your documents with encryption and password protection. 
  • Download the free computer application sticky notes  to jot down your thoughts and reminders on the computer instead of paper.
  • Check with your suppliers to see if they offer minimal packaging or will take boxes back to reuse.
  • Reduce unsolicited mail by registering with the Direct Marketing Association (DMA) to opt out of receiving unsolicited commercial mail from many national companies for five years at
  • You can also opt out from receiving catalogs, coupons, credit card offers, phone books, circulars and more through a free service at
  • Use out-dated letterhead for in-house memos/draft printing.
  • Reuse old file folders.
  • Shred newspapers and use for packing instead of bubble wrap or Styrofoam peanuts.
  • Donate old magazines and trade journals to libraries, schools, hospitals etc.
  • Use re-useable utensils, cups, plates, silverware etc.
  • Reuse envelopes by placing a new label over the old label. 
  • Collect paper that has been printed on one side to reuse as a draft paper, or scratch pads.
  • Call MCS 734-213-5400 when you have empty toner cartridges.  We will deliver and install new ones then remove and recycle the old ones.
  • Place recycling boxes in kitchens to collect glass and plastic containers. 
  • Make small paper recycling boxes available to every employee to keep at their desk.
  • Educate yourself and others about what can and cannot be recycled.
  • Flatten cardboard boxes and recycle.
  • If you do not hire a recycling service to collect items, rotate the designated person so everyone shares the responsibility.  Encourage the staff to keep up with the recycling bin to keep it under control.
  • If you just can’t give up sticky notes!  Consider purchasing Post-It brand’s Greener Notes that are 100% recycled and use a plant based adhesive.
  • Donate non recyclable items to schools, daycares and libraries for crafts such as old C.D.s, buttons and egg cartons. The Scrap Box in Ann Arbor collects items for creative recycling.  For more information visit
  • Contact MCS to pick up and recycle your old electronics or e-waste such as old telephones, monitors, scanners, keyboards and more.  See the full list of items we’ll collect here
A Reduce-Reuse-Recycle program is only part of the process.  Ultimately, the first step is to make responsible purchases:
  • Strive to purchase paper that is 100% postconsumer waste.  This will “close the recycling loop” and ensure that manufacturers continue making high quality paper from recycled materials.  Written and printed paper can be recycled back into similar print paper up to seven times before the fibers are too short.  Once the fibers become short they’re converted into items such as cardboard. 
  • Use rechargeable batteries.
  • Purchase refillable pens.
  • Provide water fountains or a water service and discourage plastic one-time-use water bottles
  • Before you purchase an item it’s helpful to “pre-cycle” which means to consider how long the item can be used, if it can be re-used or recycled. 
At Michigan Computer Supplies, we strive to build friendly relationships with our customers by offering individualized service and excellent cost savings.  The heart of our business is our remanufactured toner cartridges and the promise that if they do not work in your printer or multi-function copier we’ll replace them at no extra cost to you. 

If you would like to learn how remanufactured cartridges differ from oem cartridges check out Toner 101.

We’ve removed your risk in buying remanufactured toner cartridges.  Plus, each cartridge you purchase keeps an empty cartridge from ending up in the landfill.  That’s a win-win in our book!