The typical office setting has not exactly earned a reputation as a bastion of green practices. In fact, offices account for some of the largest sources of paper waste on the planet. On top of that, other supplies such as staples can also contribute to the waste problem, and before you know it, all of that office furniture can pile up as well.

Today, however, it's possible to put together an office that benefits from recycled materials and energy saving devices. Choosing these green-friendly options can not only save you money in the long run, but also send a clear message to your customers that you're working for the good of the planet. To that end, we want to look at some products and designs that will give your office the reputation of being earth-friendly.

Recycled Printer Paper

One of the simplest and most effective steps you can take to be more environmentally friendly in the office is to avoid printing out unnecessary hard copies of documents. But in those instances when you really do need to print, consider using 100% recycled paper. Available in a quality white finish, recycled A4 paper works great in your laser printer, copier, or inkjet.

Eco Stapler

When you do sparingly print out that recycled paper, you might need a way to keep it all together. With a typical stapler, you have all of those metal staples that not only have to be refilled constantly, but that also eventually end up in landfills. Once in the landfill, the staple will sit for decades -- most standard staples are not constructed from biodegradable materials. You may surprised at the volume of staples in use everyday in offices around the world. According to Wasteonline,

It has been calculated that if everyone in UK offices saved one staple a day that would be 72 tonnes of metal saved a year.

Instead, consider the Eco Stapler. The device uses an ingenious cutting and folding action that securely holds up to three pages together. The best news? It won't run out of staples. Ever.

Cardboard Desk

When it comes be having a green office, supplies are not the only place that you can have a recycling-friendly approach. Take, for example, the Cardboard Eco Desk. It's made from 100% recyclable cardboard, and it has a glossy white finish, providing a sleek and aesthetically attractive work area.

The desk has a clever design that makes it very strong yet lightweight, integrating double-walled corrugated board, a solid varnished surface, and chamfered legs. The desk assembles quickly, too, with typical setup time averaging three minutes. Not only does the desk look good and make sense from an environmental perspective, it's also a good value for the money as compared to typical office furniture. Now all you need is employees that work as hard on the job as this recyclable cardboard desk does for the planet.

Cardboard Bookshelf

If you are looking for a bookcase for your office, don't overlook the possibility of a cardboard piece. Made from 40% recycled materials, and recyclable itself, this eco-sustainable shelf unit features a smart design with a pleasing contemporary look -- and it's also surprisingly strong and durable.

LED Desk Lamp

Many office desks are home to standard desk lamps. It makes sense, since it is often easier to work in a well-lit area. However, rather than using a standard bulb-based lamp, consider using an LED-powered model, instead. These units save a lot of energy over the standard light bulb, provide a pleasing white light, and the bulbs never need to be replaced -- which is the last thing you want to have to do when working late on a deadline.

One of our favorite desk lamps is the one pictured, which features a dark grey finish and a sturdy base to keep it in place. The LED desk lamp only requires 5 watts of power. The low power requirements and LED light source makes this a desk lamp that will save you money for some time to come. This lamp, as well as most of the other products in this article, can be found at Nigel's Eco Store.

USB Rechargeable Batteries

Each year, many tons of disposable batteries enter the world's landfills. With the growth of personal electronics in almost every facet of modern life, this number increases each year. Using rechargeable batteries is an easy way to cut down on both landfill waste and the cost of battery replacement. However, the biggest problem is that you need a charger to recharge those batteries. So, out of convenience, many rechargeable cells are replaced by standard batteries in short order.

At least that's how it used to be. But with USB rechargeable batteries, the inconvenience of recharging is solved. Simply pull out the battery, flip the top, and plug it into any available USB port. Before you know it, the battery is fully charged and ready for another round.

Once your office is recycling-ready and earth-friendly, consider bragging on it a bit to let your customers know about your efforts. Put up a sign that points out how green your workplace is, and how you are doing your part to help save the planet. You may find that having an eco-friendly office is not only good for the planet and your bottom line, but that it also works as a unique selling proposition, as well. It is a win-win-win situation.

This post is contributed by guest blogger D. Salmons over at TestFreaks. If you are looking for more traditional office equipment and would like to read printer reviews or computer monitor reviews, give them a try.