FOR THE OFFICE
Reuse! Take lunch in a reusable containers and lunch totes.
Invest in your own coffee cup and skip the stirrer. Each year, Americans throw away 138 billion straws and stirrers. Skipping the stirrer doesn’t mean drinking your coffee black. Simply put your sugar and cream in first, and then pour the coffee
Do you know all that paper people leave by the printer? Here’s a tip: it’s white on the back!
Use email instead of paper to send mail, documents, reports, and records.
Use digital storage solutions.
Use the double sided feature on your copier whenever possible.
When you step away from the computer for more than 20 minutes, turn of the monitor off.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle and don’t forget to recycle the electronics and empty ink toner cartridges.
Use daylight rather than office lighting when feasible.
Turn lights off when leaving your office or conference room.
Connect your electrical devices to a power strip and shut it off when you leave.
Take a walk around your office and notice how many offices and conference rooms have lights on despite nobody using the space. Install motion sensors! Instead of leaving it to employees to turn off lights as they leave rooms, install motion-activated light switches. They’ll turn the lights on for a designated period of time (eg: 15 minutes) whenever somebody passes in front of the switch or moves about the room.
Buy Energy Star qualified electronic products.
Identify the greener options in your product range to help you win loyalty among your customer base, find new green customers, and help reduce your organization’s environmental impact.
Develop a green purchasing policy.
Buy environmentally friendly paper. Try as we may to go digital, we still need paper, so try to go with the least of the evils. Insist on chlorine-free paper, and look for high amounts of post-consumer recycled content.
Update Mailing Lists. This is a small but effective tip; by ensuring your mailing lists are up to date, you avoid sending out unnecessary letters, thus saving the paper, printing, and postage.
Go Casual. Not every industry permits this, but if you can, set a business casual policy for the office. Not wearing suits means much less dry cleaning which is not only better for the environment, but also your health and everybody’s finances.
Telecommute. Employees can be just as — if not more — productive when working from home. Most also consider it a perk to telecommute, even if only for a few days per month. The environmental effects of commuting are reduced, employees save the expense (and time), and even air quality and road maintenance takes less of a hit.
Power Down. Would you believe that the majority of office power is consumed by machines that are off, but still plugged into a live outlet? Standby power (or phantom power) is a huge — and hugely unnecessary — environmental culprit and expense. You can improve this process and automate it with programs like Surveyor, which automatically powers down company computers at night.
Watch the temperature in the summer. Most offices could stand to raise the temperature a few degrees. In fact, look at how many people in the office (usually women) keep sweaters and extra clothing at their desks at the height of summer because the office is so much colder than the outside temperature.
Buy in Bulk. Instead of buying individual packets of coffee, creamer, sugar, pepper, salt, jam, and other consumables, buy these items in bulk instead. Think creatively about using jars or dispensers for these items that make it easy — and sanitary — for all to use.
Go Green — Literally. Make your office literally green with plants! They absorb airborne pollutants (which are rampant with off-gassing office furniture), and emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air. Having some green plants in the office also reduces that “sterile” look, making it more comfortable for everybody.