You’re a green living super star at home, but how do you measure up at the office? Even though you don’t have to pay out of pocket for office resources, the waste created does impact overall business funds, not to mention the surrounding environment.
1. Set up recycling services
If your office doesn’t offer recycling, please take your concerns to the manager as soon as possible. Don’t be afraid to speak up for your passions. Recycling containers should be separated, with two boxes minimum. Use one for paper products and one for bottles and cans. Additional containers are useful for recyclable electronics, old batteries, light bulbs and printer ink. Ask your manager about Energy Star office equipment and eco-friendly furniture.
2. Think before you print
Print the final version of a report or brochure, not the numerous drafts. Modern computers let you interact with documents so that all editing can be done on the screen. When you do print, use black ink and both sides of the paper.
3. Add some greenery to the interior
Plants help purify the air of toxins. They also add a natural touch to a stark office environment. Reduce your overflowing houseplant collection by giving these green beauties a new home. Set them around your desk, and give thanks for their assistance in cleaning the air. Ask the office manager for permission before placing them around the rest of the office, and don’t forget to establish their care routine.
4. Sleepy time for your computer
Office life is hectic at times, and distractions pull you away from your desk. Although stepping away from the computer is important, you should remember that your computer won’t stop working without a prompt. Open your control panel settings, and activate the power-saving options. Tell the computer to turn off the display after a pre-determined amount of inactivity. In addition, set up sleep mode that comes into effect if no activity resumes. Don’t confuse these options with screen savers, which do not actually save electricity.
5. Bring your own dishware
Pretend that the office is part of a large camping trip, just without sleeping bags under the stars or campsite scavenger hunts. (Although that does sound like fun!) Stash your own mesh bag with dishware in your desk, and use it for lunchtime meals. Wash each item afterwards, and return it to the bag. Not only does this prevent styrofoam and plastic waste, but it also prevents germs from handling or eating from universal-access dishware.
6. Ditch the bottled water
Plastic contributes to a lot of waste and pollution. It also increases costs. Instead of filling the office with bottled water, return to the days of water coolers and water fountains. Bring your personal cup or mug to the fountain, and fill it up with cool, refreshing water.
7. Remove excess lighting
Motion sensors are a worthy investment. Regardless of the numerous posters you tape to the walls, not all of your coworkers will pay attention. Ask your office manager to install motion sensors that turn off the lights if no activity is detected. This method will save electricity, not to mention your sanity.
Turn your office environment into a green dream team, and see what blooms as a result.