8 steps to keep your office environment eco-friendly.
Are you joining the eco-friendly frenzy? Good for you! These tips for keeping your office more environment-friendly is by no means an exhaustive list, but a way to get started in making your workplace "greener" and in peace with nature, save money, organize your space and leave a better legacy for future generations.
1. Use electricity wisely
Try to turn off all computers, printers, photocopiers, and other equipment that doesn’t need to be left on at the end of the day and leave them off until you need to use them again. Check that all computers/monitors are set to their most energy efficient settings (e.g., monitor set to shut off after 15 minutes of no use). Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent ones.
2. Reduce, reuse, recycle
The “Reduce, reuse, recycle” means more than just throwing old paper in the blue bin. Really think about everything you use. Do you need disposable cups at the water cooler? Can you use the other side of the used sheets of paper you’ve thrown in the recycle bin? Just think about your resources and optimize.
3. Use environmentally friendly office products.
On average, they only cost 5% more, which is a small price to pay to cut down on waste and pollution. Start small – 100% recycled paper, refillable ink cartridges, non-toxic highlighters, etc.
Encourage working from home (if you can), particularly for workers who would normally drive long distance to work. This cuts down on pollution and increases time availability. Think big, start small!
For those who do come to the office on a regular basis, encourage (and help arrange) carpooling, use of public transit, biking, or walking.
6. Aim for a paperless office.
Though the paperless office may still seem unrealistic, at least try to cut down on printed material when possible. Use only 100% recycled content paper products in the office and when getting promotional material professionally produced.
7. Institute a casual dress code.
Not having to wear suits in hot summer months can help keep cooling costs down (and make for a happier workplace).
8. Fair trade & organic.
Buy fair trade, organic coffee and teas for the office. If employees prefer to go out for their hot beverages, encourage them to take their own mugs. Most coffee shops offer a small discount to patrons who do so.