Go Green At The Office With These 7 Tips

Many offices still follow practices that aren’t environmentally-friendly.  You can help green your office with these simple switches. You’ll not only help the planet – you’ll save your company a few bucks, too.

  1. Make It Easy and Fun: Some coworkers may balk at the idea of such changes, thinking it will create more work for them. Strive to make greening the office as user-friendly as possible; for example, set the office printer to default print double-sided. Put up funny, cheerful reminders to recycle or turn off the lights. Create an office-wide challenge to see which department can recycle the most paper in pounds in a month – winners get a pizza party!
  2. Tackle the Paperwork:  Reduce paper waste by going digital. When you do print, print double-sided on 100% recycled paper and provide multitude bins around the office so employees aren’t tempted to dump paper in closer trash cans.
  3. Green the Office Bathroom and Kitchen: Buy natural products for the bathrooms and kitchen and supply the custodians with non-toxic cleaners. Natural ingredients are not only better for our health; they’re better for the environment, too.  Use coffee mugs, real plates, silverware, and towels instead of the disposable stuff.
  4. Buy in Bulk: Buy in bulk to reduce shipping and packaging waste and minimize fossil fuels used during delivery. Recycle old printer ink or toner and purchase remanufactured ones in large quantities.
  5. Save Electricity:  Replace incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient lighting. Place reminders up in the office to turn off equipment and lights at night. Use natural light when possible. Computers still use energy in standby mode; use a power strip so employees can completely shut down their computer, printer, and desk light with a flip of one switch.
  6. Get to Work With Less Energy:  Consider letting eligible employee telecommute, and organize employee carpools for those who need to come into the office. Offer employees the chance to work four 10-hour days instead of five 8-hour days – they’ll reduce time on the road by 20%!
  7. Consider Larger Operations: Look for ways to green your company’s final product. For example, packaging that uses recycled materials or factories that have goals to reduce or eliminate waste. Environmentally-friendly changes will benefit your company’s bottom line and image among consumers.

Written by: Caitlin Boyle; Feature image courtesy of Bakoko

 

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