Office environments can be brutal to the environment. With all the electricity being used for lights and computers, plus all the paper and office supplies going into the garbage every day, there certainly are a lot of environmental hazards. The good news is that cutting down on the environmental waste is very easy to do in offices.
1. Save Electricity
- Instead of taking the elevator every day, use the stairs. Not only will you be saving energy, but you’ll also be getting your daily dose of exercise too!
- Turn your lights off every time you leave your office or area, even if it’s only for ten minutes. The notion that you use more electricity turning lights on and off simply isn’t true. You use less electricity when you aren’t using it.
- Use windows to their maximum capacity. Draw back the curtains and let all that natural light in! You might not even need to use a light at all.
- Turning off your cell phone when it’s finished charging is another great way to save electricity. Leaving your phone turned on once it’s finished charging actually uses just as much electricity as when it’s charging.
- During the summer months, close the blinds partially. This will keep the room from heating up and using more air conditioning.
- Use only as much water and coffee grinds as you need for your office. If you’re the only drinking coffee, don’t make a whole pot.
2. Reduce Supplies
- Keep track of how much paper and toner you use. Just keeping track of how much paper you’re wasting is sure to make you pay attention to it and reduce the number. Use any paper that can’t be used for scrap paper. Use it to take messages, write reminders, etc.
- Instead of making copies of very large documents, email them or put the document together in a Power Point presentation.
- When possible, read documents on the computer rather than printing them out.
- Always use the “Print Preview” option before printing something out. This will let you see if there are mistakes in your document and save you from printing it out twice.
- Email phone messages and other messages instead of writing them on paper.
- Regularly update mailing lists and delete any that are out of date.
- Don’t use fax cover sheets when you don’t absolutely have to.
- Create business cards for departments rather than for individual people.
- Use scrap paper that has writing on one side to create draft documents. Always make sure that all staples and paper clips have been removed.
- Change printer settings so that “Draft” qualities are being printed rather than “Best.” This will reduce the amount of times you’ll need to print the document.
3. Share Stationary
- Ask that reports be printed once and passed around the office for everyone to read instead of printing out a different report for every person.
- Share supplies such as staplers, hole punches, etc. instead of buying each person their own.
- Use labels that can be reused for sending out packages and then reuse the packages.
- Use tape dispensers and pens that are refillable rather than buying new ones.
- Buy recycled paper products. Make sure that anything that will be going through a machine such as a printer or photocopier can handle high volumes of recycled paper. Also buy re manufactured toner rather than buying new.
- Use recycling bins. Set a few up for paper, aluminum, and cardboard and place them throughout the office.
- Use a reusable mug for your coffee instead of using a paper or plastic cup several times a day.
- Car pool with a friend on the way to and from work or take the bus.
5. Pass It On
Tell your office that you’re going green and encourage everyone to join in!
Going green is especially important in today’s day and age when everyone’s worried about using up our resources and reducing consumption. Office spaces are one of the easiest places to go green, and maybe even save some overhead costs too!