America produces an alarming amount of waste. According to the EPA, this number was around 258 million tons as of 2014. While our habits at home could, without a doubt, use some work, we're no angels in the workplace, either. Places of business are a huge culprit when it comes to the biggest contributors of waste. With simple changes, though — like by switching to eco-friendly alternatives to everyday items you use at work — we could make serious progress when it comes to living greener.
Think about a typical workday for only yourself. Every time you use the bathroom, you dispose of toilet paper and paper towel. You might use more paper towel in the kitchen. You're printing off some documents, shredding and throwing away others, drinking out of styrofoam coffee cups each morning, and totally neglecting the lonely recycling bin when it comes to disposing of certain materials. You alone might be producing as much as 4.4 pounds of waste per day, according to information from the EPA. Only 1.51 pounds gets recycled or composted — roughly 34 percent — even though the EPA estimates about 75 percent of our waste is recyclable, says DoSomething.org.
If you work in an office, there are a number of things you can do to be better. Here are seven common eco-unfriendly items many of us use every day, and greener versions of them you can try.