Create a green office! Whether you are a business owner, employee, or work from home, these tips on how an environmentally friendly workplace can work for you!
Print on both sides of the paper
It cuts your paper consumption in half–just like that! What an easy start to a green workplace!
Purchase a water cooler system
Being green at the office isn’t just about paper and pens. Think green in your kitchen or break room. Many people drink bottled water these days, and the downside is that plastic water bottles are filling up our landfills and making more work for our recycling centers. Having a water cooler makes it easier for you and your employees to reuse cups or bottles while still getting the benefits of bottled water.
Use electronic documents and filing systems
How many times have you been in a meeting where you tossed the hand-out in the trash soon after the meeting ends? Or, have you ever printed out an email or other document just to file it away? Take a good look at your printing practices and note where you could cut back. Do all of your meeting attendees really need printed agendas and support documents, or are you displaying it with a projector or a whiteboard anyway? Can you send supporting documents in an email after the meeting rather than passing them out? And, rather than printing and filing, you could use an electronic folder system (just make sure it is backed up!). Your green workplace will thank you for it!
Make sure your shredder is environmentally friendly
In today’s world, shredding sensitive documents is a must. But did you know that many document shredding companies don’t recycle shredded waste? Shop around to find a vendor that handles it in a secure and green way. If you shred your own documents, keep in mind that the shredded paper can often be recycled. If you have curbside recycling, check to see if they will accept shredded paper. You will often need to bag it separately. If not, drop it off somewhere that will accept it.
Change out your light bulbs
One of the absolute easiest ways to help the environment is to change out your light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs. They can be found anywhere you can find regular light bulbs, and they typically cost less than $4. Now that’s an easy way to be green at work!
Consider letting some or all of your employees telecommute one day a week
Think about it: There are 52 Fridays in a year. If your employees could refrain from driving each Friday, they would be driving 14.2% fewer days per year. The percentage of gas savings goes up even more if they typically drive more on the weekdays than they do on the weekends. What about if you are not the boss but you have one? Ask about telecommuting yourself. Here’s how to present it: “Ms. Jones, I’m sure you’re as concerned about the environment as I am. By letting me work from home one day each week, you will be helping me to save almost 15% of my annual gasoline consumption and car emissions. Can we try it for a month to see how it goes?