As we spend more and more time at our offices, we’re using more and more electricity and other resources. This means that there are an increasing number of opportunities to conserve those resources and make your office greener. Even if you work from home, many of these points can help you to go green in your home office.
Turn Off Unused Equipment. It o nly takes an extra few seconds, but make sure to turn off the printers and computers when you leave the office at night. Even if they’re just in “hibernate” mode, computer equipment and printers can use a surprising amount of electricity. If dozens (or hundreds) of employees in the office all power down their computers each night, the electricity savings could be substantial.
Buy Green Office Supplies. Wherever possible, buy green office supplies instead of your standard supplies. Make sure to look behind any environmentally friendly claims, though – take a minute or two to ask questions and learn exactly what makes one product greener than another.
Reduce Your Printing. When email first gained widespread usage, it was common practice in many offices to print hard copies of all important or somewhat important (and even relatively unimportant) email messages that were received. Most of us who used to have this bad habit have broken ourselves of it, but there’s still a chance that we can reduce our printing even further. Try to avoid printing emails or other electronic documents you receive unless there’s a significant need to do so.
Use Energy Efficient Light Bulbs. You’ve probably already replaced some of the light bulbs in your home with more energy efficient, compact, fluorescent bulbs. Try to get your workplace to replace incandescent bulbs with CFLs and make your office greener. This could also be a great financial decision as well, because the long term operating costs for CFLs will be much lower to your company, compared to traditional bulbs.
Office Recycling. An office or workplace will generate a certain amount of trash and waste – that is unavoidable. To make the office greener, though, make sure to recycle as much of that waste as possible. Nearly all office paper, as well as a great deal of waste that’s produced in your office’s kitchen and break rooms, can and should be recycled. Many offices provide small recycling bins to put by each and every desk to make sure that no recyclable materials are thrown into the trash.
Teleconferencing. Some business meetings will always need to be conducted face to face, but whenever possible try to use teleconferencing or other methods of conducting meetings with clients and partners. Not only will it make everyone more productive, since there won’t be any time lost to travel, you’ll cut down on fuel and other costs that would have been required to conduct the meeting face to face.
Improve Commuting. See if your employer will sponsor initiatives to encourage carpooling or commuting to the office by public transportation. Simply by providing or paying part of a bus or train pass, your company may be able to get some of its employees to commute by public transportation. This saves energy, and might also make the employees more productive at work, since they won’t have to contend with a stressful drive into work each day.
You don’t need to do all of these things at once, step by step will get you there, but the more you can do, the better.