10 Tips For Returning To The Workplace Safely

10 Tips For Returning To The Workplace Safely
10 Tips for Returning to the Workplace Safely

With the growing availability of COVID-19 vaccines, 2021 is opening the door for many businesses to consider a partial or full return of employees to the workplace. While small and medium-sized business owners feel a sense of urgency to return to business as usual, there are facts to consider about where we are now in the pandemic and practices that can help to ensure the safety of everyone in your workplace.

By March 15, more than 38 million Americans had been fully vaccinated, or 11.5% percent of the country’s population. The Biden administration has announced goals to get all Americans eligible for vaccinations by May 1 and to get the nation “closer to normal” by July 4. While vaccinations have helped to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and many of those at high risk for serious health consequences have been vaccinated, 88.5% of the country is still waiting (or worried about taking the vaccines). There is still much to be done before we reach herd immunity, but progress is happening quickly.

So where do we stand now in terms of what we should and should not do in our workplaces? The CDC recently advised that fully vaccinated people can gather indoors with other fully vaccinated people without wearing masks or physically distancing. They may also gather with a small group, such as coworkers, even if that group has not been vaccinated. Those who haven’t been vaccinated are advised to continue to minimize the number of people they are in physical contact with and to wear masks in public.

If your business is like most others, most of your employees, customers, and visitors have not yet been vaccinated. With this in mind, here are some key safety considerations for gradually returning employees and visitors to your workplace:

1. Promote vaccinations: Over the next few weeks, the Biden Administration will deliver vaccines directly to up to 700 community health centers and will double the number of pharmacies and community vaccination centers operating. Simply communicating the availability of vaccines in your local area and the eligibility criteria as they are announced will maximize the number of employees who can gather without masks or physically distancing.

2. Require face masks for all employees and visitors, including those who are vaccinated, since the findings on whether vaccinated people can transmit the virus are still unclear. Keep spare face masks on hand and educate employees on the proper way to wear and handle masks. Noses must be covered!

3. Stagger a return to work: Some of your employees have been vaccinated. Others can only work effectively in the workplace. Bring these two groups back to work first, then stagger the rest according to vaccinations and need to be in the workplace in order to execute their roles. If an employee lives in an at-risk community or immune-compromised household, extend their ability to work from home.

4. Have a pre-screening policy: If you can prevent sick employees from putting others at risk, you are taking the most important step in ensuring a safe workplace. Consider having someone check temperatures at the door and turning away employees running a fever. Ask all employees to stay home if they are experiencing symptoms including body aches, a fever over 100 degrees, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell.

5. Seek emergency medical attention for anyone in your workplace exhibiting sudden signs of trouble breathing; persistent pain or pressure in the chest; new confusion; inability to wake or stay awake; or pale gray or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

6. Routinely sanitize and disinfect the workplace, carefully following these CDC guidelines for the materials to use, surfaces to clean, and frequency of cleaning.

7. Adjust your floor plan to reduce congestion and the potential for face-to-face contact as people pass one another. Consider using tape to mark areas where people can walk to ensure that there are six feet of width between people as they pass one another, especially in intersections. If there are areas where congestion or face-to-face contact is almost impossible to avoid, use partitions to reduce the potential for viral transmission.

8. Promote physical distancing by not holding meetings in closed rooms, if possible. Use open spaces instead. If this isn’t possible, use the largest possible rooms for in-person meetings and limit the number of attendees to only those that must be present. Consider holding virtual meetings or hybrid virtual/present meetings.

9. Post signage reminding workers of proper protocols including individual mask-wearing, handwashing, avoiding handshaking, not sharing objects, and other hygienic practices.

10. Be ready to adjust your protocols and plans as the situation changes. While it is highly likely the pandemic will continue to subside as more people are vaccinated, there is a possibility that COVID-19 variants could complicate the situation. Be prepared to reverse course and let your workers return to remote work temporarily, as necessary.

There is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 has been greatest for smaller businesses. As a small-to-midsize business, you have fewer resources to deal with an unexpected crisis. These ten guidelines can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. When put into place as a matter of policy, they should be all you need to gradually and safely return employees to your workplace.

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5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity
5 Office Spring Cleaning Tips to Boost Productivity

The warmer weather and the longer days intensify our desire to clean and organize. While many people take the time to clean out their wardrobes and organize their homes, one area that is often neglected is an office or desk space. Since your work area is a place where you spend 8+ hours per day, it is important to take the time to clean out these spots, as well. Use these tips to get the most out of your spring cleaning and prepare yourself for the rest of the year.

1. Digital Declutter

Digital clutter slows down your computer over time and leaves you with little space to store your work files, which is why a routine e-cleanup is necessary for top performance. Start by going through your files and transferring ones you want to keep but don’t actively use to a server or an external hard drive. If there are files that you do not need at all, go ahead and delete them! After completing these steps, organize your desktop and folders to simplify your file search.

2. Clear the Unnecessary

Your desk should hold your most important items such as a computer, phone, notepad, and a reliable pen or mechanical pencil. If your desk has drawers, use them to sort any paperwork you have on the top surface away, to keep your surface clear and streamlined. The trick is to keep your most used items within arm’s reach. Being organized and having a clean slate can help you become more productive during the workday.

3. Wipe it Down

Now that your workspace is tidy and streamlined, it is time to clean it. Start by using a disinfectant wipe to sanitize your work tabletop and then move on to using a screen cleaner spray for any electronical surfaces like your computer and phone screens. One area you’ll want to make sure not to forget—your keyboard! Using a microfiber towel and cotton swabs can help you get into all the spaces between the keys. Try making cleaning part of your weekly routine to truly feel a difference.

4. New Supplies

Now that you have gotten rid of all the clutter, it is time to take inventory of your supplies and make a list of what you still need. At the top of that list should be new pens and mechanical pencils for the rest of the year. The Sarasa Grand Retractable Gel Pen comes in 6 aesthetically pleasing barrel colors and rapid drying gel ink for an effortless writing experience. For a mechanical pencil option, try out the DelGuard Mechanical Pencil. Its lead won’t break under pressure and is refillable.

5. Add Some Pizzazz

Finally, don’t forget to make the space your own by injecting your personality into it. Show off your style with a potted faux plant, sleek metal mousepad, or a few framed photographs. No matter how you do it, adding your own personality to your workspace is a great way to breathe in new life and help you (and your desk) feel refreshed.
Even if it isn’t spring, adding some personality to your newly cleaned and organized office can help you refocus and improve your productivity. We hope these tips help you organize, clean, and refresh your workspace.

All the supplies mentioned here are available from Penny Wise Office Products.
Call to Order – (800) 942-3311 or Shop Online www.penny-wise.com

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4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break

4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From Home Lunch Break
4 Wellness Activities for Your Work From

If Wellness in 2021 is your goal, we’ve got 4 great Work Day Wellness Activities for you, even if you are working from home.

Most of the work from home guides you may have read focus on productivity, with tips about how to concentrate on work and better utilize tech, such as external monitors or laptop docking stations. But productivity is just one half of the recipe for WFH success.

Wellness is also a crucial ingredient. After all, it’s not easy to perform at your best if you’re feeling unhealthy or stressed-out. There are some easy wellness activities that you can take advantage of during your lunch break to stay active and engaged.

Activity #1: Eat Lunch Somewhere Other Than Where You Work

When you work from home, time can seem very fluid, with no clear boundaries between work and leisure periods. Similarly, the lines between “workspace” and “leisure space” can become blurred.

But you still need clear differentiation as well as regular breaks to avoid long, uninterrupted periods of staring at a screen in the same spot, which can quickly put you into a lull. In other words: Don’t eat lunch in your WFH workspace, or deprioritize doing so just because you feel like you’re “in the zone.”

A survey from hygiene and health company Tork found that employees who regularly took lunch breaks felt more engaged on the job than those who did not. It might seem counterintuitive that people who work fewer hours overall, and do so more sporadically with interspersed breaks, are more productive than ones who just power through all day at their desk, but it makes sense in a way:

Leaving your workspace for a kitchen or patio table lets you switch contexts and can help recharge your mental energy.

It also spares you from literal multitasking – for example, trying to eat and respond to emails simultaneously – that taxes the brain and decreases the quality of any attempted work.

By really focusing on your lunch, within a non-workspace, you can also avoid the tendency to overeat, which is a common effect of distracted eating.

Activity #2: Take a Walk or Do Other Exercise During Your Break

Going for a walk offers multiple benefits to productivity, health, and wellness.

First, like eating lunch somewhere else, it provides a clear break from sitting in front of your computer. That’s important for resetting your mind. Walking helps sharpen the senses and improve key brain functions for memory, learning, and cognition.

Second, if you can walk outside, you can give your immune system a boost. Georgetown University researchers once found that sunlight boosts T-cell activity.

Third, it’s good for keeping up with a formal health and wellness program or regimen, if you follow one. Specific requirements of these programs – such as getting in a sufficient number of steps each day or achieving a certain heart rate – can be more easily met with some lunchtime physical activity.

If walking isn’t your favorite thing, you can still do some other beneficial exercises with minimal setup:

Bodyweight exercises like squats, lunges, and pushups require nothing but a little space and can pay dividends right away in how physically and mentally alert you feel.

Consider getting a pair of dumbbells and a yoga mat to add more challenge and create a more comfortable surface, respectively.

Track your time so that the exercise routine doesn’t run too long or make it more difficult to fulfill your work-related commitments.

Activity #3: Eat a Prepared Meal

Activity 3 Eat a Prepared Meal

Switching from a commute-based job to working remotely can dramatically change your eating habits, and not necessarily for the better. Since snacks might be readily available from your WFH workspace, it can be easy to eat junk food throughout the day. On top of the risks already present from sitting for too long (like higher blood pressure), there are possible downsides for your health.

Planning your meals is one way to avoid falling into this trap of impulsive and stress-induced snacking (plus, it’s good dietary advice in general). Enjoy a meal that was prepped in advance, like you might have done before if you packed your own lunch for the office. This helps instill structure in your workday, too, helping avoid the boundary-less work-life muddle discussed earlier.

Consistent hydration is also important, so keep a water bottle nearby as well as grab your favorite drink of choice at the beginning of each workday. Making these kinds of preparations benefits your health as well as your productivity, since they reduce the time you spend on tasks such as getting up from your desk to get a drink.

That said, do take breaks as needed, perhaps on a schedule aligned with a time management technique like the Pomodoro Technique. This particular technique entails intentionally breaking the workday down into 25-minute increments, with frequent 5-minute breaks and less frequent 15- to 30-minute ones.

Activity #4: Listen to Music or Look at Art

Every lunch break is an opportunity to do something positive for your health and wellness – and that “something” doesn’t have to be physically strenuous.

If you don’t listen to music while working (maybe because it’s disruptive to others at home, or has to be paused/stopped frequently for meetings), try doing so during a break to give yourself a boost of endorphins that elevate your mood. Music may be good for productivity because of its mood-enhancing effects. A study of software engineers found that programmers who listened to music while working felt better and produced higher-quality code.

Likewise, looking at art or – better yet – creating it is a proven health and wellness activity. Even a 10-minute art break with just a pencil and some paper can get the creative juices flowing, with a spillover effect on your productivity and your overall wellbeing.

Check out all our Work From Home Products for Improved Productivity and Comfort at www.penny-wise.com

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Scientists Agree: The Airborne Transmission of COVID19 is a Real Risk

Scientists Agree: The Airborne Transmission of COVID19 is a Real Risk
Scientists Agree

Recent news on COVID-19 airborne threat

Until now, there have been conflicting messages related to the risk of the airborne transmission of COVID-19. A group of 239 scientists in 32 countries have published their open letter to global health community to present the evidence.

In their letter, the highly qualified group state:

Multiple studies “have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”.

These microdroplets “pose a risk of exposure at distances beyond [3 to 6 feet] from an infected individual”.

“we are advocating for the use of preventive measures to mitigate this route of airborne transmission.”

Read the full text of the letter: It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of COVID-19

What we know about COVID-19

As discussed above, the highly qualified group of 239 scientists highlight in their open letter that multiple studies:

“have demonstrated beyond any reasonable doubt that viruses are released during exhalation, talking, and coughing in microdoplets small enough to remain aloft in the air”

 

Surfaces and COVID-19

While it’s believed that COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person contact, officials haven’t ruled out surface contact as a potential source of contagion. It’s just too early to tell.

In fact, recent tests on the coronavirus COVID-19 showed it can stay active on various surfaces. Researchers found viable coronavirus samples could live for up to:

24 hours on cardboard

four hours on copper surfaces

two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

During tests, the researchers also found the coronavirus could be detected in the air up to three hours after emission, making it vital that people clean the air.

The importance of cleaning

While the majority of COVID-19 cases are derived from person-to-person contact, we can’t overemphasize the importance of proper room cleaning.

So, while many people have stressing surface and hand cleaning, the addition of cleaning the air will undoubtedly help manage enclosed spaces. AeraMax Professional’s four-stage system, with True HEPA filtration, can effectively and efficiently build on the hand and surface cleaning routines.

 

Where AeraMax Professional can help

We do know that AeraMax Professional air purifiers can mitigate additional pathogens in the air where people are infected, removing pollutants from air and reducing risks for people already infected.

AeraMax Professional air purifiers:

Are certified to be effective in reducing airborne concentrations of influenza A (H1N1) aerosol in a test chamber, reaching 99.9% airborne virus reduction within the first 35 minutes of operation.

Are certified to capture 99.97% of pollutants at 0.3 microns.

Can capture more than 97.8% of pollutants at 0.1-0.15 microns, via IBR Laboratories test data.

 

What’s more, an AeraMax Professional III with PureView Technology can sense when airborne contamination is present in a room, automatically adjusting cleaning to remove the offending particles from the air. This is ideal for places like assisted living facilities, where residents already have compromised immune and respiratory systems.

AeraMax Professional Air Purifiers are available at Penny Wise Office Products www.penny-wise.com

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Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home

Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home
Cleaning And Disinfecting Your Home

This month’s blog comes straight from the CDC, which we thought would be helpful during these uncertain times. Do you know the difference between cleaning and disinfecting? This is a good time to reevaluate the steps we take to stay safe and healthy.

CDC

How to clean and disinfect

Clean
Clean

  Wear reusable or disposable gloves for routine cleaning and disinfection.
  Clean surfaces using soap and water, then use disinfectant.
  Cleaning with soap and water reduces number of germs, dirt and impurities on the surface. Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces.
  Practice routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces. High touch surfaces include:
      Tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, sinks, etc.

Disinfect
Disinfect

  Recommend proper use of disinfectants, as listed below.

Many products recommend:

  Keeping surface wet for a period of time (see product label)
  Precautions such as wearing gloves and making sure you have good ventilation during use of the product

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

  Wear skin protection and consider eye protection for potential splash hazards
  Ensure adequate ventilation
  Use no more than the amount recommended on the label
  Use water at room temperature for dilution (unless stated otherwise on the label)
  Avoid mixing chemical products
  Label diluted cleaning solutions
  Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets

You should never eat, drink, breathe or inject these products into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm. Do not wipe or bathe pets with these products or any other products that are not approved for animal use.

Diluted household bleach solutions may also be used if appropriate for the surface.

      Check the label to see if your bleach is intended for disinfection and has a sodium hypochlorite concentration of 5%–6%. Ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Some bleaches, such as those designed for safe use on colored clothing or for whitening, may not be suitable for disinfection.

      Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Leave solution on the surface for at least 1 minute.

  To make a bleach solution, mix:
      5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of room temperature water
OR
  4 teaspoons bleach per quart of room temperature water
  Bleach solutions will be effective for disinfection up to 24 hours.
  Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol may also be used.

Soft surfaces

For soft surfaces such as carpeted floor, rugs, and drapes.

  Clean the surface using soap and water or with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces.
  Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions.Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
OR
  Disinfect with an EPA-registered household disinfectant. Use disinfectants that meet the EPA’s criteria for use against COVID-19.
  Vacuum as usual.

Electronics

For electronics, such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, and remote controls.
 Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics.
 Follow manufacturer’s instruction for cleaning and disinfecting.
      If no guidance, use alcohol-based wipes or sprays containing at least 70% alcohol. Dry surface thoroughly.

Laundry

For clothing, towels, linens and other items.

  Launder items according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
  Wear disposable gloves when handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick.
  Dirty laundry from a person who is sick can be washed with other people’s items.
  Do not shake dirty laundry.
  Clean and disinfect clothes hampers according to guidance above for surfaces.
  Remove gloves, and wash hands right away.

Clean hands often
Clean hands often

  Key times to clean hands
      Immediately after removing gloves and after contact with a person who is sick.
      After blowing one’s nose, coughing, or sneezing
      After using the restroom
      Before eating or preparing food
      After contact with animals or pets
      Before and after providing routine care for another person who needs assistance (e.g. a child)

  Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds.
  Hand sanitizer: If soap and water are not readily available and hands are not visibly dirty, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. However, if hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.

Always read and follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use.

  Keep hand sanitizers away from fire or flame
  For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision
  Always store hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets
  Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

When someone is sick

Bedroom and bathroom
Bedroom and bathroom

Keep separate bedroom and bathroom for a person who is sick (if possible).

  The person who is sick should stay separated from other people in the home (as much as possible).

  If you have a separate bedroom and bathroom: Wear disposable gloves and only clean the area around the person who is sick when needed, such as when the area is soiled. This will help limit your contact with the person who is sick.

      Caregivers can provide personal cleaning supplies to the person who is sick (if appropriate). Supplies include tissues, paper towels, cleaners, and disinfectants. If they feel up to it, the person who is sick can clean their own space.

  If shared bathroom: The person who is sick should clean and disinfect after each use. If this is not possible, the caregiver should wait as long as possible before cleaning and disinfecting.

Food

  Stay separated: The person who is sick should eat (or be fed) in their room if possible.

  Wash dishes and utensils using disposable gloves and hot water: Handle any used dishes, cups/glasses, or silverware with gloves. Wash them with soap and hot water or in a dishwasher.

  Clean hands after taking off gloves or handling used items.

Trash
Trash

  Dedicated, lined trash can: If possible, dedicate a lined trash can for the person who is sick. Use disposable gloves when removing garbage bags, and handling and disposing of trash. Wash hands afterwards.

Penny Wise is here to provide you with all the cleaning and disinfectant supplies you need to stay healthy. Call us today for fast, free delivery.

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5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors

5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors
5 Ways to Maintain Sustainability Indoors

The coronavirus epidemic has impacted the entire world, with many people working from home and being told to leave the house as little as possible. In times where we must stay at home as much as we can, it can be tough to remember that the world is also facing an environmental crisis. Fortunately, there are opportunities to help the environment, even while working from home and staying indoors. Here are five considerations from our friends at Double A Paper to be sustainable indoors.

Limiting Purchases

Learning to live a more minimalist lifestyle can help you save money and aid the environment. Shopping online and placing orders for new products may be fun, and at times it can even be necessary, but limiting your purchases will cut down on the amount of money you spend while also cutting down on the amount of fuel used for shipping and the amount of materials used for production. It can help you learn to better appreciate things you have at home as well. Take time to consider what you truly need. If you do require something, there may be ways to make it or obtain it sustainably. Be mindful of the buyerarchy of needs before you place an order.

Limiting Energy Usage

You’re at home, so of course you’ll need to use your computer to work. But how much energy do you require on any given day? Make sure the lights around your house are off unless they’re needed, and as tempting as it may be, don’t use things like a TV for background noise while you work. The amount of energy you conserve will be noticeable, and you’ll appreciate it when your next utility bill comes in. The extra time you save without having a commute could also be dedicated to conserving energy. It can be tough, but with the right effort, you can make hand washing your dishes more efficient than running your dishwasher.

Consolidate Errands to Minimize Need to Leave Your House

There are times where you’ll have to leave your house – such as obtaining groceries. If this is the case, keep a list of things you need to leave the house for (medicine, food, other necessities, etc.). Make a plan to buy only essential items and minimize the amount of time you spend at each location and travelling between them. This will help to keep you safe and reduce the amount of fuel consumed for travel.

Regulate Your Home Temperature Conservatively

As the temperatures outside increase and summer approaches, you may be tempted to stay cool by using air conditioning to a high degree. Consider the alternative ways to keep your home cool, such as sunlight-blocking curtains, in order to save energy while keeping your home cool. Remember, you can also open your window to let in some fresh air and listen to the sounds of the outside world.

Stay Informed and Do Research

New methods of being environmentally conscious are being discovered all the time, and every day, people are coming up with inventive and unique ways to be sustainable and protect the environment. In your downtime, do research into new ideas and developments around sustainability, and what you can do from home. For more ideas on practicing sustainability, by yourself, in your home office, or with your family, subscribe to our blog and get more updates and fresh content!

 

Stay Informed and Do Research

 

People all across the world need to work together to make a major difference, both for our own health and for the Earth. There are times where that can be a challenge, but we must remember that our planet should always be a priority.

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Earth Day is finally here! Learn 5 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day!

Earth Day is finally here! Learn 5 Ways You Can Celebrate Earth Day!

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2020

 

5 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day 2020

 

Earth Day 2020 will be the 50th anniversary of Earth Day! Our friends at DoubleA Paper have provided several great ways for you to celebrate Earth Day this year.

Earth Day represents our responsibility to the planet and the importance of conserving nature. Since Earth Day began in 1970, we have seen increased concern for our planet and a rise in conservation efforts.

The years preceding the introduction of Earth Day were riddled with air pollution from inefficient vehicles and booming industrial trade. It was common for companies to expel large amounts of fossil fuels with no concern for the environment.

In 1969, a US senator named Gaylor Nelson witnessed a major oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. After experiencing the devastation of such an act, Nelson decided to fuse the energy of activism with conservation efforts. This pushed the importance of the environment into the national agenda. April 22, 1970, was declared the first official Earth Day. People from all walks of life joined in on the festivities and organized programs to support and promote environmentally friendly actions.

Celebrating Earth Day is a great chance to consider how you can help the environment. This sustainable holiday serves as a reminder of how we influence the planet. It encourages us to implement conservation efforts in our everyday lives and support environmental sustainability.

In honor of Earth Day, we gathered five ways to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Take a look at the sustainable activities below!

1. Plant a Tree for Earth Day 2020

Trees are among the most important organisms on our planet. They provide clean air for us to breathe, and provide homes for a multitude of wildlife. Trees have the amazing ability to improve our atmosphere over time by absorbing CO2 and converting it into breathable oxygen.

Trees also cool our planet by reducing pollutants from fossil fuels and other harmful chemicals.

Without trees, those harmful substances would stay in our atmosphere, heating our planet. For Earth Day 2020, plant a tree in your yard or with a local organization!

2. Start a Garden

Starting a garden is a great way to reduce your carbon footprint and celebrate Earth Day. They are transported from factory farms to grocery stores, polluting the planet. Not to mention, most of them are packaged in plastic!

Planting your own garden will reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in transportation and decrease the production of waste. Gardens are also a great way to support the ecosystem in your community – they will encourage birds, insects, and other wildlife to visit!

3. Use Green or Reusable Products

Take a look at your home and notice opportunities to use more sustainable products. Many companies have taken action to create green products, in everything from clothing to utensils.

Consider switching out household goods with their more sustainable counterparts, and notice how easy it is to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle and support environmentally friendly companies.

4. Fundraise for a Sustainable Cause

Fundraising is a great way to give back to our planet, and there are so many amazing organizations working to better our environment. Some of these include the Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, and The Natural Resource Defense Council.

Fundraising can be daunting, but there are plenty of sustainable products and services to sell for a good cause. You could sell reusable shopping bags to promote waste reduction. You could sell items such as organic seeds, fair trade coffee, or household conservation products like LED lights and reusable water bottles.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to fundraising. Make sure to let everyone know the proceeds are going to a good cause, and make sure to use sustainable paper for any fliers.

5. Join a Roots and Shoots Campaign

The Roots and Shoots program was created by Jane Goodall to bring generations together for conservation efforts. The organization has local chapters in over 140 countries with 8,000 groups globally. Members of the groups work on environmental issues within their community.
There is an entire curriculum that teaches you how to start a Roots and Shoots campaign for
free online.

Earth Day 2020 is the perfect opportunity to serve the environment. Many organizations and
communities come together to celebrate on April 22nd, but your efforts shouldn’t stop there.
Implementing sustainable action into your life is the best way to honor the Earth all year!

Environmentally friendly Double a Paper is available here Penny Wise

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Printable Checklist for Simplifying Your Life

Printable Checklist for Simplifying Your Life

While we are all staying at home and slowing down, this may be a good time for you to plan future ways to simplify your normally busy, chaotic life.

Please use this Printable Checklist as a helpful guide, from your friends at Penny Wise Office Products.

PrintableTips_to_Simplify_YourLife_PennyWiseOfficeProducts

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7 Environmentally Friendly Office Products To Help Your Office Go Green

7 Environmentally Friendly Office Products To Help Your Office Go Green

Today’s businesses understand that eco-friendly offices are a trend that bears paying attention to, and our friends at Clover Technology have provided you with 7 of the very best ideas for creating an environmentally conscious businesses.

7 Environmentally Friendly Office Products

Making an effort toward sustainability within your organization can increase your competitive edge and boost revenue — as well as productivity and company morale.

In fact, it’s been proven that workers perform better in offices that emphasize environmentally friendly upgrades. And that can do more than ramp up productivity — it can also help your organization attract the kind of workers that make a real difference to the level at which your enterprise operates.

Let’s look at some simple, but powerful, ways you can boost your office’s eco-friendly quotient.

7 Environmentally Friendly Office Products to Help Your Office Go Green

With more than 8.5 million tons of office furniture making its way to our overburdened landfills each year, it’s no wonder that the best, easiest, and most cost-effective way you can green up your office is to look closely at reuse and recycling.

Our selection of environmentally friendly office products centers on items that will help your office not only reduce or eliminate waste and reduce your carbon footprint, but help you reuse where it’s appropriate.

1. Eliminate Single-Use Water Bottles with a Water Delivery Service

With plastic debris accounting for anywhere from 60% to 80% of all marine pollution, it’s no wonder that single-use plastics are under fire. Four states – California, New York, Maine, and Vermont – have passed bans on them and cruise lines, hotels, and other businesses are following suit.

You can green up your office and make a difference by swapping out single-use water bottles with a water delivery service and encouraging your employees to bring in their own refillable bottles for use in the office.

Water services range from hot/cold fountains that are super-filtered at the source to water that’s delivered in reusable BPA-free bottles to be chilled on an as-needed basis — it’s up to your team to decide which better serves your office environment.

2. Reduce Environmental Impact with Remanufactured Printer Cartridges

According to statistics, more than 375 million OEM cartridges thrown away each year, further clogging already overburdened landfills. And, when you recognize that it takes a single one of these cartridges nearly a thousand years to completely decompose, you can understand what an enormous environmental burden they are to the health of our planet.

Additionally, these cartridges have been tagged as “potentially carcinogenic” and in landfills they have been found to leach toxic chemicals into the soil that can reach all the way to underground aquifers, polluting our precious water resources.

Each remanufactured cartridge that you buy can contribute to your overall level of corporate responsibility and commitment to sustainable practices. With each purchase, you’re keeping another cartridge out of our landfills and averting a significant chain of impacts to the environment.

3. Replace Light Fixtures with LED Bulbs

A quick fix for a greener workspace involves converting your incandescent lighting to LEDs to maximize your energy efficiency. Because LEDs are so small, they put off less heat into the environment, which can, in turn, help you keep your thermostat stable and in energy conservation mode.

The energy efficiency of these bulbs means they don’t have to be changed as frequently and, since they last five to ten years, they aren’t being thrown into landfills and adding to our solid waste problems.

And, today’s wide array of LED designs means you can find practically any type of bulb you need, even in specialty sizes.

4. Consider Document Management Software to Cut Down on Paper

The average office worker uses up to 10,000 sheets of paper every year, but 45% of the paper printed in offices ends up in the trash by day’s end. That’s what makes investing in document management software important in curtailing excessive use of paper.

Document management software can help reduce the amount of time employees spend looking for hard-copy documents, which can increase productivity and it can help prevent the catastrophic loss that sometimes occurs when paper-based records are damaged.

However, remember that some important documents will need to be printed in hard copy form, which brings us to our next product — refurbished printers.

5. Choose Refurbished Printers to Manage Your Carbon Footprint

Even if you choose document management software, you will always need to print certain critical documents, so to keep it green, consider pairing your remanufactured print cartridge with a refurbished printer for maximum impact.

Not only will you be conserving energy and resources by buying a refurbished unit, but you can realize savings of 10-25% over a new unit. And, high-quality refurbished printers will perform as well — or better — than new versions and come with a warranty to protect against premature failure.

6. Buy Recycled Paper, Tissues, Paper Towels

Since we’re talking about greener printing, don’t forget to source your copy and printer paper from companies that offer recycled papers.

Recycled paper produces 39% less solid waste using 31% of the energy it takes to create virgin fiber paper. In addition, it takes 53% less water to produce and uses no trees.

In fact, it’s estimated that if the magazine industry switched to using 100% recycled paper, it would be like removing 248,000 cars from the road – for a whole year!

7. Use Refillable Whiteboard Markers

Dry erase markers are a staple in most conference rooms, allowing staff to brainstorm, organize, and make assignments during meetings and events. However, it’s often hard to find one that works when you need it, as they tend to dry out quickly.
A great way to keep them out of the trash — and avoiding frequent spending on new ones – is to purchase a refillable set. They come in all colors and can be refilled easily, at a fraction of the price of new markers.

Other Ways to Go Green for Maximum Benefit

Offices looking to become more sustainable might consider some of the following options to increase their commitment to developing an environmentally friendly work space:

Use renewable energy sources such as solar or wind power

Lower energy usage by using natural light to illuminate office spaces

Reduce commuting impact by hiring remote workers or promoting walking, biking, or public transportation

Turn off the lights, heat or air conditioning, and electronics on weekends, during holidays, and every evening after work

Remember, making a transition to a more environmentally friendly office not only helps heal our planet, it provides concrete benefits for businesses in the form of cost savings, productivity, and competitiveness.

And, while we can’t guide you on implementing all of these changes, if you’re ready to discover how remanufactured cartridges from Clover can maximize your sustainability while saving you money, contact your

Penny Wise representative at 1-800-942-3311 or email: customercare@penny-wise.com

www.penny-wise.com

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Desperately Seeking Biodegradable

Desperately Seeking Biodegradable

This month’s blog post comes to us from Double A Paper, the best choice for our environment. Their commitment to the environment is impressive and humbling, and their mission is to create “a better paper for a better world”.

Desperately Seeking Biodegradable

 

You’ve heard about biodegradable materials since grade school. But times have changed, and with all of the new synthetic materials available, it’s hard to know what’s biodegradable and what doesn’t fit the bill.

The true definition of biodegradable, according to Webster’s Dictionary, is “capable of being broken down, especially into innocuous products, by the action of living things (such as microorganisms).”

Are Plastics Biodegradable?

Believe it or not, some are. Those made with renewable raw materials, microorganisms, petrochemicals, or mixes of all three will break down. For example, polylactic acid (PLA) plastics are made from fermented plant starch and can be composted. In the right scenario, they will dissolve into the earth without a trace within three months; but could take as long as 100 – 1,000 years, depending on how much circulation they receive while composting or sitting in a landfill.

How About Styrofoam?

Amazingly, this material is still as non-biodegradable as it was when it was first produced. It can break down between a few years and a million years, but is more likely to be on the longer end of that estimate. Made with petroleum, this product has been banned by places like Orange County, California and Portland, Oregon.

If you’re looking for a biodegradable alternative, there are many options.

What Materials Are Definitively, Without a Doubt Biodegradable?

o Paper, including waxed paper
o Fruits and Vegetables
o Flowers
o Wood
o Some Plastics that Include Corn Oil, Orange Peel, Starch, and Plants

However, these materials must have the right conditions, such as a compost bin that will help break down the materials with heat, water, and microorganisms. Composting works by accelerating the natural decay process through offering microorganisms an optimal environment: nutrients, warm temperatures, oxygen, and moisture. They consume the composted materials and their waste products are nutrient rich soil, which can then be used for your garden or other growing area.

Many biodegradable materials make great composting. For example, any foods that are not meat, like vegetable peelings and ends, coffee grinds, egg shells, and even non-food items like paper towels and napkins. But don’t include any meat, animal waste, animal bones, or anything that would foster harmful bacteria and microorganisms.

What’s Not Biodegradable?

o Most Plastics
o Styrofoam
o Metals
o Chemicals
o Paint
o Rubber
o Glass

Some Biodegradable Alternatives to Try

o Instead of plastic, try biodegradable plastics
o Instead of Styrofoam, see if you can bring your own biodegradable container to a restaurant
o Instead of plastic bags, use your own reusable cloth tote or satchel
o Instead of foil, use wax paper
o Instead of plastic straws, use paper ones

Double A Paper is 100% biodegradable. We’re proud to offer a product that won’t harm the Earth, but we’re even more focused on the process of producing it, from seed to sapling to the letter you place on someone’s desk. One of our most important guiding tenets is sustainability.

Order your Double A Paper from www.penny-wise.com and feel the difference.

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