Terrific reasons to go green at work include conserving natural resources, improving employee morale, and saving more money than you might have imagined. You’ll want to try these six easy-to-implement, earth-friendly solutions today; then watch the savings and satisfaction add up!
Conserve energy.You may be aware of these energy-saving tips, but have you truly implemented them? Use the energy-saver settings on computers, printers, and fax machines, and shut off all electronics at day’s end. Install motion detectors to ensure overhead lights stay off in empty offices. Turn off lights each time that you leave your desk or a conference room. And choose long-lasting, energy-saving compact fluorescent bulbs.
Buy eco-office supplies.There are countless environmentally-friendly alternatives to everyday office supplies, including recycled paper, refillable ink cartridges and furniture made from reclaimed materials. Additionally, buying supplies in bulk can save money, reduce your carbon footprint, and result in fewer deliveries and fuel savings.
Ditch toxic cleaners.According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the air inside office buildings can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside—largely because of cleaning products. So arrange for your cleaning company to use green supplies.
Go paperless.Always print on both sides of a page—in draft mode. Don’t print in color unless necessary. As much as possible, edit on the computer screen. Archive emails and documents rather than printing them. Finally, send forms to be filled out and legal documents via email and have them signed electronically.
Recycle.Place recycling containers throughout the office for paper, plastic, metal, toner cartridges, and batteries. Recycle computers and other office equipment by returning them to the manufacturers. (Many cover shipping costs.) Donate outdated office equipment to worthy causes.
Telecommute.Whenever possible, have employees work from home, using email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. This can save travel costs and time, reduce air pollution, and increase staff satisfaction. Encourage those who drive to work to carpool or take public transit.
One last suggestion: offer employees incentives for going green, then share your success stories. Remember, even small, everyday actions can have a powerful effect on the environment—and your bottom line!