Going Green in the Workplace
Why 7? Because that’s about as perfect as perfect gets, right? Actually, let’s consider 7 to be a starting point — a jumping off point — to lead to some simplicity that will make a big difference in “Greening” your workplace. Straight talk says that “seven” will offer change without freaking out your colleagues and superiors.
Or if you own the business yourself, it will create an environment for environmental change without offering your employees much “Boss has gone crazy” dialogue. Here you go: 7 great tips to go green in the workplace.
Cut Out Unnecessary Electrical Use
Not in a room? Turn the lights and power pulls off. Nice outside? Turn off the air conditioner and open up the office windows. Not at your computer? Turn it off! Such quick and easy fixes seem almost too simple, but when you consider the amount of electricity that is wasted in an office space everyday, it is staggering.
Artificial light is responsible for 40 – 50 percent of electricity used in offices, so by simply cutting back on over usage, you can make your office substantially more green. Consider plugging all of your personal electronic devices into a power strip, and turning the strip off at night, and if you can unplug it, even better. Or look into an eco-friendly power strip like this one.
Be More Green When Using (or Not Using) Your Office Printer
Print less, and print only what you absolutely HAVE TO. Further, don’t waste the paper that you must use. If you can use recycled paper for internal and unimportant personal documents, that’s even better. Do your best to print on both sides of paper when you have the option. Obviously, it’s easy to see that paper waste can be cut in half by simply using both sides of a sheet for necessary print jobs.
Instead of buying new print cartridges, consider recycling your old ones and investing in re-manufactured ones for future printing jobs. If you have the ability to add your own toner to cartridges, that’s another great way to eliminate waste — everything from packaging to transportation and shipping costs.
Save the Paper, Save the Planet
Well, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but every little bit counts. Taking printing a step further, take into consideration what gets printed and why. Are employee manuals a necessary print job, or could they be just as easily distributed online? Taking that example a step further, how much paper would be saved when it comes time to update the same manual? Paper is too often seen as an invaluable resource — reconsider. Develop a corporate Wiki page, and keep all of your relevant office docs there; when you hire a new employee, then they only get a password to your Wiki area, and not a bunch of corporate print-outs.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Perhaps it’s the easiest thing to do when you want to help out the environment. Whether you have two or three extra trash bins for different recyclables in the office, people are more likely to use them when you provide them.
You’ll be happy to see the results, especially when you realize the amount of waste that will instead be re-manufactured for another day.
Know What You’re Cleaning With: Green Office Cleaning Products
All natural cleaning products are the perfect alternative to chemical products when making the office shine while sanitizing. Add a few plants to the office space, which will help absorb our CO2 waste, and produce that bi-product that we love so dearly: Oxygen. When making office improvements and/or renovations, stay VOC free in everything from paint to carpet glue.
Offer Personal Sustainability to Make the Office Green
Even if everyone else doesn’t jump on the train to make the office a greener place to work, you can still lead the way and set the example. Instead of those paper coffee cups and soda cans, consider a container like a coffee mug or plastic cup that you can wash and reuse. When it comes to your lunches, invest in reusable containers and reusable utensils, as opposed even to recyclable plastics. If you have some say, see if you can get a few water filters on location to help eliminate water bottle waste.
Consider Your Commute When Making Your Office Green
How far do you have to go? How eco-friendly is your ride or car? Is there a way to work from home a few days a week? There are so many things to consider in regards to your travel to and from work. If you can be part of the solution, then what are you waiting for? Carpooling, public transportation, riding your bike, walking and alternative fuel or eco-friendly vehicles are all great ways to help out the environment, as well as to potentially increase your overall well-being.
Hopefully you can see the potential that these simple 7 changes can offer. Have any additional ideas? Please do comment on this post below, and offer more suggestions that you’ve used in your workplace, so that others can be helped too! There’s no time like the present, and even one change a month could make your office a greener workplace within a very short time.