There are many ways to go green, but people usually only focus on making changes in their homes. Even though many things are out of your control at work, that doesn’t mean you can’t practice eco-friendly habits between the hours of nine and five.
To help you co-exist in an eco-friendly work environment, the Sierra Club has compiled a list of ways you can make a difference in the corporate world:
turn your computers off
According to the Sierra Club, businesses waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year. To help lower this figure, remember to turn your computer off and unplug it from the power strip before clocking out for the day. However, you may need to check with your IT department first to ensure your computer doesn’t need to run on backups or other maintenance. During the day, while you’re still working, set your computer to sleep mode so your desktop will automatically take short breaks. This will cut energy use by 70 percent, something screen savers can’t do.If you are in charge of buying office equipment for your company, look into every-saving computer monitors and printers and ensure that old equipment is properly recycled.
print more economically
When printing out documents, print on both sides of the paper and use the back sides of old print outs. Also, avoid color printing when possible.If you have the authority or can make suggestions, offer up chlorine-free paper with a higher percentage of post-consumer recycled content and switch to a lighter stock of paper or paper made from bamboo, hemp, organic cotton or kenaf.
recycle, recycle, recycle
Place bins in conveniently located areas around the building and clearly mark what can be placed in the bins, such as fax paper, junk mail, old cell phones and PDAs. Also, make it a policy to purchase office supplies and furniture made from recycled materials.
When traveling for business, look for alternative means of transportation such as the train, bus or subway. If you must rent a car, then look into rental agencies that offer hybrids or other high-mileage vehicles. By the same token, when making your daily commute, carpool, bike, use mass transit or telecommute when possible.
use safe cleaning products
Just like at home, you can use nontoxic cleaning products at your office, desk or cubicle. If you have to, bring your own from home. Also, adding a plant or two on your desk will not only add some atmosphere, but will also absorb indoor pollution.
Help conserve electricity by turning off the lights in your office whenever you leave for over fifteen minutes. During certain times of the day, you might even be able to get away with only using natural light. Open the blinds and let the sunshine in!You can also utilize energy saving light bulbs and timers or motion sensors that will automatically shut off when they’re not needed. So, follow these steps and have an eco-friendly workplace.