The Green Office
For many of us, the bulk of our waking hours are spent in the office. Therefore, creating a welcoming, healthy environment can lead to greater productivity and make coming to work much more enjoyable. While some of the tips provided most certainly fall into the category of common sense, we prefer not to take any for granted. If you have any more to add to the mix, please email us.
- Lift shades to bring in natural light and switch off overheads
- Inquire about installing motion detectors, especially in areas designated for copies, faxes, coffee rooms, and shared kitchen space
- If replacing personal lights, use compact fluorescents
- Add plants to your office landscape. They improve air quality, have been shown to aid in overall mood and stress levels, and add visual warmth.
- Take advantage of energy saving computer settings
- Set all printers to double sided default
- Invest in a Smart Strip power strip to reduce phantom, or vampire energy loss
- Encourage employees to shut down their computers at night before they leave, and make sure that office lights are turned off whenever the room or space is unoccupied
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
- Stock the break room with reusable cups, plates, and silverware
- Invest in a reusable coffee mug
- If your office does not recycle, be a leader and request a recycling bin
- Inquire about becoming a Sustainability Liaison.
- Get off the bottle – discourage use of large water bubblers as they are extremely carbon intensive, not to mention unsanitary, and inquire about a water filtration system.
- Donate old office equipment or make sure to recycle computers so that they can be repurposed.
- Encourage colleagues to communicate electronically and use tools such as PowerPoint for meetings to avoid handouts. If you must print, use both sides
- Suggest employees put scrap paper into a binder for note taking versus purchasing new pads of paper
- Replace individual office phone books with electronic directories
- Create electronic flows for expense reports, timesheets, and paychecks to eliminate unnecessary waste
- When purchasing office paper goods, opt for recycled and biodegradable items
- Buy in bulk, which reduces fuel consumption during shipping
- If using cleaning products in the office, choose ‘Green” companies, such as Ecover, Method, or Seventh Generation, that do not use phosphates, which pollute waters and ruin ecosystems, or petrochemicals, which are made from petroleum or carbon.