Proper Waste Disposal at the Office


Properly Disposing of Waste at Office

If your workplace is like ours, you go through a lot of waste. That means, between lunches, office supplies and old electronics, you’re sending a lot of garbage to already over-burdened landfills.

Meanwhile, at home, many of us have made changes. We’re becoming waste-conscious, recycling and composting, even adopting zero- and low-waste lifestyles.

How can that translate to the office? Through more conscious day-to-day choices, you can easily reduce your office’s environmental impact. Here’s a guide to get you there.

Old electronics

Have any ancient PCs collecting dust at your office? Don’t throw them in the dumpster! Already, 140,000 tonnes of electronic waste ends up in Canadian landfills every year. These items contain valuable materials that can be re-used to create new products. But they can be tricky to dispose of.

Luckily, there are businesses out there to help you bridge the gap. These differ across provinces and territories. For example, in Ontario, Best Buy accepts things like old computers, TVs, phones and batteries. You can also opt for a service through the Electronic Products Recycling Association, like Recycle my Electronics.

Toner and ink

Here, many local suppliers have you covered. Check to see if you can return your cartridges where you buy them.

Paper and Cardboard

Cardboard and paper can be recycled four-to-five times without loss of quality or strength. Still, it’s important to recycle each of them properly.

Cardboard is naturally biodegradable so, if you have your own compost at the office, this can be shredded and tossed in. Otherwise, for non-soiled cardboard, recycling is your best bet. Break down boxes and large pieces, and tie them together into a tight bundle when you leave them at the curb.

The recycling bin is your best destination for most paper. Even sticky notes, which you may have wondered about, are usually recyclable. Local recycling plants are able to remove the adhesive. But, stop before you throw away that soiled napkin! Keep reading for tips on proper disposal of food waste.

Food waste

Most paper in the office will be bound for the recycling bin, but soiled paper is a different story. Greasy paper plates and used napkins can be composted along with most food items.

Workstation Ergonomics: How to Set Up a Healthy Desk


By now, you know that poor office posture can lead to repetitive stress injuries and overall health issues. But you might still be wondering how exactly to correct the problem. Here, you’ll find a handy guide to help you adjust your way to workplace health.

Bends

When adjusting your monitor, chair and desk, the right angle in your best friend. For example, your knees should be bent at ninety degrees, with your thighs resting comfortably and your feet planted on the floor.

The right angle is also what you’re aiming for with mouse and keyboard adjustment. Your upper arms should rest comfortably at your sides, with your elbows bending at ninety degrees. From there, your forearms rest on the desk, never over-reaching for the mouse or keyboard. If in order to reach your keyboard, you need to move your upper arm away from your side, it’s too far. Bring the keyboard and mouse closer.

hand-wrist-posture

The final right angle to look for is in your torso. When you sit, do your hips stack directly under your shoulders and neck? If you’re slouching or leaning forward, the chair could be to blame. Look for something that supports your low and upper back. That way, you can lean comfortably into your chair while maintaining an upright posture.

Heights

To get started, your chair height should be equal to the length of your calves, allowing your knees to bend at ninety degrees.

The height of your desk should allow your arms to access the mouse and keyboard at a ninety degree angle whether sitting or standing, so what does that look like?

For a sitting desk, look for something with a height around your pelvic region.

sitting-posture

For a standing desk, you’ll want something that tops out around your naval.

sit-stand-setup

Monitor height is a crucial part of our muscular well-being, but so many people get it wrong. The top of your screen should align with your mouth area, and angle upward at about 30 to 40 degrees. This will allow your neck to stay upright, with your chin slightly tucked.

A proper monitor can be especially tricky to visualize, since it’s such a far-cry from how most of us use our computers. For a great visual aid and measurements customized to your body type, check out Computing Comfort.

Re-Aligning Focus at Work After the Holidays


In December, our focus shifts toward family, festivities and vacation time. We spend lots of time relaxing and — hopefully — recharging, before returning to work in the new year.

But when we settle back into work life, things can feel a little drab. If you’ve got the post-holiday blues, or are finding it hard to get back into the swing of things, here are a few easy ways to reignite your gusto.

Realigning Focus at Work After Holidays

  1. Create one work resolution. Nothing motivates like a new goal. Maybe you want to take a walk every day at lunch, or try a different position, or add three new clients to your roster. Give the goal some thought and, whatever you decide, track yourself to achieve it.
  1. Reconnect with your colleagues. Remember, you’re not the only one who took time off over the holidays. Chances are, your colleagues are struggling to get back in the groove, too. This is a perfect time to recharge your social life at work. Commiserate, collaborate and remind yourself that you’re part of a community.
  1. Get creative. Bring some zest to your existing work, and it will come alive. If you write press releases for a living, why not check out a webinar on creative writing? If your work isn’t inherently creative, think about adding a daily journal entry to your to-do list. Studies show that journaling sparks creative thought, helps you achieve goals and reduces stress.

Treat yourself. When we lack motivation, it’s important not to get down on ourselves. Instead, offer yourself rewards if you’re finding it hard to complete tasks. Every time you check an item off your to-do list, give yourself a treat. That could be a cup of tea,  a walk, a stretch or a chance to catch up with a colleague. When returning to work after a break, sometimes we need to take baby steps.