You know those helpful tips for the home, like “Turn off lights when you leave the room?” Make sure to apply this logic at your workplace as well!
There’s a lot of power wasted at our offices that makes our planet the teensiest bit warmer day by day. As an employee, you can’t control all aspects of your office environment, but you can make a significant impact.
Here are some simple things you can do to make your workplace (or home office) a greener place to be:
Instead of using and offering clients dozens of single-use plastic water bottles and cups each week, use glasses, mugs or reusable water bottles instead.
Introduce organic coffee to your workplace. You might even be able to get the office to make a permanent switch!
Institute an office-wide recycling program by placing receptacles for recyclable paper near fax and copy machines and for cans and bottles in the kitchen.
Consolidate your fax, printer, and copier into one machine. Amp up the energy savings even more by purchasing Energy Star-certified office equipment. According to the Co-op America website, if all of America’s smaller offices bought Energy Star-certified equipment, we would eliminate 2.3 billion pounds of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of taking 807,000 cars off of the road.
Before leaving the office, turn off all lights, water coolers, and office machines. Keep your electronic devices on a power’s trip to make shutting down the power as easy as a flip of the switch.
Check out products like KILL-A-WATT (from P3 International) and CO2 Saverfor further energy savings.
As a company, consider offsetting your CO2 for a specific event, business trip, or venture, or for all of your production.
As computers are the powerhouse for most office tasks, they deserve a closer look in terms of their carbon footprint: Simply turning off your computer at the end of every day will save about one ton of CO2 per year.
According to Earth 911, “If every U.S.computers and monitors were turned off at night, the nation could shut down eight major power plants and avoid emitting 7 million tons of CO2 each year.
”Set your computer to go into sleep mode after 15 minutes (or less) of inactivity. In sleep mode, a computer uses 70 percent less energy than when the screensaver is active.
By using a laptop instead of a desktop, you can save considerable energy. If you use a desktop, opt for a flat screen LCD monitor, which is more energy efficient than a bulky CRT.
Consider using a Mac, which uses less electricity than the average PC.
Many workplaces have been the scene of the crime for a tremendous amount of needless paper waste. Here’s an opportunity to make a major impact:
You may want to begin by putting a picture of a tree or rainforest above the paper cabinet as a constant reminder to reduce your use. Whenever possible, rely on e-mail to avoid printing, copying, and faxing.
Print on both sides of the page to cut your paper use in half. Circulate lengthy reports instead of printing out one for each person.
Create more concise marketing materials. Remember less is often more,and often clients appreciate having fewer materials to carry around and file later.
Buy only recycled paper for your office machines, preferably at 100 percent PCW .Re-use the back side of non-confidential documents as scratch paper or for taping expense report receipts.
Instead of standard petroleum-based inks, use soy-based inks which are better for your health and easier to de-ink during the recycling process.
There’s a big opportunity to reduce carbon emissions when it comes to workrelated car travel:
Carpooling just two days per week can cut 1,590 pounds of CO2 emissions annually, and even more for each additional person.
Sharing rides to work drastically reduces fuel costs, puts less wear and tear onyour car, and can get you to work in shorter time, thanks to carpoollanes.
Carpooling also gives you an opportunity to build friendships and business relationships, and often is quite fun, making even long commutes breeze by!
Many larger companies assist their employees in arranging carpools and vanpools, and some offer modest financial incentives as well.
If you can’t find a coworker who lives near you,consider looking for a transportation buddy at www.carpoolcrew.com—you can even search for someone with a similar taste in music!
Telecommuting (working from home) is a powerful way to cut down on emissions. Don’t overlook this option. If we all worked at home just one day per week, we’d cut 143 billion pounds of CO2 per year, according to the greencurve.com.
As an alternative to flying or driving to meet with out-of-town or out of-country clients or coworkers, consider video teleconferencing. This great alternative to in-person meetings saves time and money by eliminating the need for car and air travel, yet still allows for virtualface-to-face conversations.
By maintaining a green office, not only will you reduce your carbon footprint,you will set great eco-examples for everyone who visits your office, including your coworkers, employees, and clients.