Easy ways to go green at work

by tealmermaid

Easy tips and tricks to go green in a modern office environment.

The office spaces of today are some of the world's most wasteful places when considering their impact on our environment. Reams of paper used daily, electrical devices running constantly, the garbage generated in a single day of business -- what can be done to go green in a modern office?

It's easy to go green at work with just a few simple changes in your daily office routine. Any office space can go green one step at time, even yours. Implementing even one of these tips means taking the first step today toward saving the earth.

In the office

Reduce paper consumption

The office printer is a great place to start in your quest to go green at work. Every sheet of copy paper used comes from a tree. How many trees died to produce a single hardcopy of that annual report?

  • When buying office copy paper, look for recycled copy paper with a high post-consumer waste content. The value is in knowing that this paper has been used before and can still be reused and recycled almost indefinitely.
  • You can reduce paper usage by making double-sided copies. This one step will save a sheet for every two-page document you print.
  • Shred documents when you are done with them, and use the shredded paper as package fill when shipping items.
  • Email your co-workers instead of pushing paper from one cubicle to the next. This eliminates paper usage entirely!
The average U.S. office worker will go through 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Think how many trees can be saved each day by going digital!

Use a laptop instead of a desktop computer

Use of a laptop will consume about 50 watts of energy while idling. The average desktop computer will consume 270 watts of energy even when you aren't using it. It's easy to see the energy savings!

In addition, certain computers are now produced to not only be energy efficient, but also made with greener materials. Energy efficient computers save energy and money. What business doesn't want more ways to save money? Going green can help the bottom line!

Turn it off if you aren't using it

So simple that it's brilliant: if you aren't using it, turn it off. Plug all your peripherals such as scanner, printer, and cameras into a power strip that can easily be turned off at the end of the day. If you aren't at work, you don't need these things on. Don't forget to turn off the overhead lights at the end of the day. If no one is there, why light up the office?

Commuting

Green your commute by working from home

Working from home cuts down on office expenses. Try instant messaging, video conferencing or other innovative tools to make telecommuting effective. Who doesn't want to avoid being stuck in rush-hour traffic every day?

An nationwide average drive-time is about 24.3 minutes, which means that Americans spend more than 100 hours a year commuting to work. Do your part to cut back!

Consolidate your work schedule

Instead of working a standard week of five eight-hour days, try working for four ten-hour days each week. This can reduce the time and energy spent on commuting by at least 20%. The three-day weekends are just a bonus.

Share a ride to work

If any of your co-workers live nearby, arrange to carpool to work. The savings in fuel will show immediately. Better yet, how about biking to work as a group on nice days? A bit of exercise is a great way to start the work day.

Reduce business travel

Related to the idea of working at home: don't travel unless you absolutely need to deal with an issue personally. That conference in Palm Springs sounds lovely, but it's wasteful to go just to enjoy the weather. Instead, video conferences can have almost all the benefits of meeting in person without the energy waste. So long as you have a high-speed internet connection and a good quality web cam, you can speak with anyone, anywhere, at any time for a fraction of what it would cost to attend that conference. Try out services such as Skype; you might like it!

Go green at work every day

It is easier than you think to go green at work.
It is easier than you think to go gre...

As you might have guessed, these simple changes can make a big difference as to how green your office space might be. Every small step can reduce the impact of your office on the environment, so start today!

The Green to Gold Business Playbook: How to Implement Sustainability Practices for Bottom-Line Re...

Need more concrete suggestions for going green at work? This is an excellent and well-researched guide to achieving sustainable practices in the workplace, with pragmatic, do-able ideas that any office can implement.

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Do you practice green living at work?

Updated: 10/03/2016, tealmermaid
 
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