For many workers, today is the first day back in the office, on the assembly line or behind the register. Here are some natural ways to have more energy to get through the rest of the work day (and start those New Year’s resolutions already!).
1. De-clutter your desk.
Stop looking at memos from 2011, and finally throw out that tabloid magazine from – ahem – last March. A clean space will provide a fresh start for the day and make your working life is a little more organized. Scan, create and save electronic versions of important documents onto your computer. File through scribbled notes and type the pertinent info into a Google Doc. Gather all paper items (magazines, office paper, notes, etc.) for recycling.
2. Get a coffee shop-free caffeine boost.
You don’t have to spend $4.45 at Starbucks to get that kick you need at 2:30. Making your own beverage will not only save you money, but you’ll be buying – and ultimately tossing – one less of the 4 billion coffee cups that are thrown away each year. Try whipping up one of these recipes for a spice chai or gingerbread latte.
3. Change your lighting.
Having the right light in your office is especially important during the dreary winter. Over the years, our editors have tested several bulbs – incandescent, LED and CFL – for efficiency, quality and energy bill savings. While incandescent bulbs burn bright, they set off high heat, and they don’t last very long. However, this LED bulb and this CFL bulb kept the temperature (and bills) low, but still gave off a bright light.
4. Snack on healthy items every two hours.
Don’t eat a heavy meal at lunch. It will set you up for a sleepy afternoon. Instead, eat a moderate lunch and nosh on whole snacks – nuts, granola or dried fruit – throughout the day. You’ll notice that not only are you eating less in the long run, but your mind can focus on other tasks instead of thinking about food. For tomorrow, bring your own meal. Here are 5 ways to pack a zero-waste lunch.
5. Find one way your office can “go green.”
In true 2012 spirit, your boss is probably down for making some changes, so now’s the perfect time for suggesting new ways to eco-innovate. Does your office recycle? (No? Here’s how to start and office recycling program.) Does payday come via direct deposit or paper checks? Is there room in the kitchen for reusable mugs instead of foam cups? Look around the office for wasteful ways, or take a poll of your other co-workers on ways they think the workplace could change for the better.