A greener workplace can mean a lighter carbon footprint, and a more healthy place to work. Whether you’re the boss or the employee, there are plenty of ways you can make your office more green, including recycling, using green materials, and reducing waste. These energy-saving tips apply to your home and office and will help jump-start your efforts to turn your workplace green.
- Reduce paper waste. Reduce paper waste by going paperless, wherever possible. Try to avoid printing anything unnecessary or sending company updates via faxes or snail mail. Limit your office to just one copy of magazines or catalogs. Or, better yet, get an online subscription. This saves money, limits clutter, and reduces the amount of paper you use.
- Recycle. There are plenty of materials around your office that you can recycle. If you don’t have a recycling system at work, start your own. Recycling paper, cardboard, soda cans, plastic bottles, plastic bags, ink cartridges, and edible items helps to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Bike or carpool to work. Transportation accounts for nearly 30 percent of greenhouse gas emission with cars and trucks driving nearly one-fifth of that emission. Joining a carpool reduces the amount of cars on the road and biking to work saves on gas (and gives you some exercise for the day).
- Use green materials. Fill your office with recycled, environmentally-friendly materials. Buy pens, pencils, and papers that are made from recycled materials. Refillable pens and markers are also green options. Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper towels in bathrooms. Buying these materials in bulk reduces shipping and packaging waste, which further benefits the environment.
- Upgrade to LED. Replace all T12 fluorescent lights with energy efficient lightssuch as T8s or LED lights. LED lights use 80 percent less energy than traditional lighting and only waste 5 percent of the energy on heat. With a longer life span and a higher distribution of light, fewer light bulbs are needed to light your office, using less energy. Of course, keeping off the lights whenever possible, reduces the power bill and heating needs of your office, conserving energy.