General Office Supplies

Purchasing office supplies only when needed, and choosing sustainable products, can help improve your office's environmental impact and bottom line.

When purchasing office supplies, choose items that are refillable and recyclable and contain a high percentage of recycled content materials. Consider whether or not a product is really necessary, or if a system can be set up to facilitate the reuse of office supplies and avoid over-ordering products.

Choose

Pens, Pencils, Highlighters

  • Refillable, recyclable products
  • Items made with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content (plastic, paper, metal)
  • Biodegradable and non-toxic products
  • High quality, durable items
  • Non-toxic, unscented, low-emission pens and markers

File Folders, Binders, Document Holders

  • Products with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content (plastic, paper, metal) 

Envelopes, Notebooks, Sticky Notes

  • Envelopes with 30% or higher post-consumer recycled content
  • Refillable notebooks with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content paper
  • Sticky notes with a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content
Avoid
  • Single-use, non-refillable products
  • Non-recyclable products
  • Vinyl binders (look for PVC-free)
  • Virgin paper products
  • Products without third party environmental certification
  • Virgin paper envelopes, or envelopes with less than 30% post-consumer recycled content

Where to Purchase

Tips and Resources

Labels to Look for 

Rainforest Alliance

Ensures a product comes a farm or forest operation that meets comprehensive standards that protect the environment and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities.

EcoLogo

Certification provides assurance that a product, service or packaging meets rigorous multi-attribute, life cycle–based environmental standards.

FSC

Certification ensures wood and paper products were created in a manner that is environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial and economically viable.