Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Metal monster! What a waste!

The humble office stapler is a menace. Quietly munching it’s way through a stealthy stash of metal.

Here’s my view of another situation in the office that can be greened up nicely.

We all know that the earth’s resources are finite.

So those tiny right angles of metal are a subtle, yet significant, waste.

if each one of the UK’s 10 million office workers used one fewer staple daily, there would be a saving of 328 kilos of steel a day- 120 tonnes a year. Use a paper clip instead!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- An easy household guide by Nicky Scott.

120 tonnes of steel wasted! If the average car weighs a tonne. That’s 120 cars! Just from UK office workers using one less. Staples are also expensive.

I think about the number of times I get ‘stapled’. In shops, so often the card receipt gets stapled to the till receipt. I always attempt to stop them. Tape can be used as a better option instead, if it’s cellulose and biodegradable. Or better still nothing. The receipts are paper and biodegradable.

Teabags with string often have a staple to keep the string on!

The florist staples the wrapper together and then staples a ribbon on and the flower food is stapled to the wrapper. I wonder how many dutch florists there are? And how many staples they could save?

I particularly hate seeing posters staples to trees. Why should a tree end up with metal stuck in it permanently.

So what’s the answer?

If you’re feeling funky there are some ingenious alternative staple free staplers too.



I have two. They were gifts.

One can ‘staple’ two sheets the other does five.
Both use a similar method.

They make a notch and a strip that then tucks back on itself to close the paper.


There are some obvious older options. Paper clips and drawing pins can be used over and over again. They give options for temporarily fixing papers together or to other things.

Or use an envelope!

How can you reduce the staples in your life?

Do you ever tell a shop assistant not to staple that receipt?




7 comments on “Metal monster! What a waste!

  1. ladyofthecakes
    October 18, 2014

    Love those alternative staplers. I had no idea such things existed.

    You know what used to wind me up about the UK? Postmen just dropping their rubber bands on pavements and streets. I mean, we must be talking tens or even hundreds of thousands a day? Why can’t they be collected and re-used??? What a colossal waste!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. lizard100
    October 18, 2014

    True enough. Rubber bands are biodegradable but it was quite ridiculous. These days there’s so little post only the parcels from Internet shopping.
    The staplers are good.
    There’s many different kinds now.


  3. Frugal Hausfrau
    October 20, 2014

    Staples seem so small, I’m afraid I’ve never thought about how they add up! Now, I know!

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      October 20, 2014

      They certainly do. Abd when paperclips can do the job it seems silly to waste so much metal. Theze days i guess with more and more email it should be less.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim in Fiji
    October 22, 2014

    I never would have thought of staples as being the huge waste that they are! Here in the tropics we try not to use them, just because they rust out. I love love love your all-paper “stapler” – that is a solution that would really work.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lizard100
      October 22, 2014

      Thanks. It difficult to realuse how such small things add up. When i try to tell a ship keeoer bot tk staple my card receipt to the till receipt they look at me like im crazy.


  5. Rambling Woods
    October 24, 2014

    Yes..I don’t use one here …..

    Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on October 18, 2014 by in Reduce, thrift and tagged , , .

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a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

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