A greener workplace equals a smaller carbon footprint and is also good for the employees who work there and can save the business money too. From how you get to work, to the choices that you make while putting in your 40 hours, your decisions can have a significant impact on the environment. There are simple ways that you can green your office whether you telecommute or work outside of the home, here are my top 8 ways to get you started.
1. Getting There: How you get to work is a significant portion of your daily carbon footprint. The best options include; telecommuting, walking or biking. Other Eco friendly options include taking public transportation and carpooling. The bottom line is the less time spent driving to work - the less impact on the environment.
2. Printer Perfect: If you don't absolutely need to print a document, then don't. If there is no way around printing, make the best printing choices. When choosing a printer, pick an all-in-one model, one that prints, faxes and scans. These models use up to 50% less energy than having a separate machine for each function. Choose 100% post consumer paper, soy based inks and when possible print on both sides of the paper.
3. Green the Kitchen: If your office has a kitchen, consider bringing your own dishes to use for your meals including a stainless steel water bottle and reusable coffee mug. If your office doesn't have a kitchen space, bring your lunch in a reusable lunchbox. This will keep you from raiding the vending machine or picking up fast food - both of which come in wasteful packaging and are hard on your budget too.
4. Get Reusable: Whenever possible, choose office supplies that are reusable or refillable. This includes: dry erase boards that can be used over and over again for everything from agendas to calendars - to refillable ink and pen cartridges. Refilling an item will always be more Eco friendly than buying a new item each time you need one.
5. Green Clean It: Request that the office be cleaned using only green cleaners to protect the Earth. The business can save money by making their own cleaners or buying green cleaners in bulk. And considering that you are unable to open the windows in most office buildings - using green cleaners keeps the inside air free from toxic cleaning chemicals - which is always better for your health.
6. Make a Recycling Center: If your business doesn't already recycle, consider setting up a recycling center where employees can easily recycle paper, plastics, ink cartridges, bottles, cardboard and cans when necessary.
7. Power Down and Turn Off the Lights: By powering down equipment when it isn't being used, a business can save up to 25% energy. If you also power down all of the equipment at the end of the work day, you can save up to an additional 50% energy. And remember to turn off the lights on your way out the door.
8. Spread the Word: Show your excitement and get others involved with greening your office. The choices that you make as a whole can have a huge impact on the environment. Start talking about the changes that you would like to see and you will be surprised to find that there are many other people out there that care just as much about the environment and their health as you do.
How do you green your office?
How have you encouraged others in your office to get involved?
Photo Credits: Office, Public Transit, Printer, Kitchen, Reusables, Green Cleaners, Recycling, Light switch, Shout
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