HOW TO GREEN YOUR WORK SPACE

PRACTICAL TIPS FOR GREENING YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT

a5bb51c7288bc1d456e1d7aaf6f05e181.jpgHere are some suggstions for greening your work environment. Many of these were inspired by Greening Your Office: From Cupboard to Corporation: an A-Z Guide by Jon Clift and Amanda Cuthbert. The rest and most of the comments are my own. This list is subject to expansion as more information is available. Consider contributing to this list via the comments section.

- Denis

OFFICE WASTE

Establish recycling bins. – Find out what your area trash carrier is equipped to recycle and break up your office waste accordingly. Separate soda cans, water bottles, discarded office paper, junk mail, food waste, etc. into individual containers.

Utilize reusable garbage pails whenever possible. These are far better for the environment than one-use plastic garbage bags.

Reduce office paper consumption. – Ask yourself? Do you really need to print numerous drafts of a document as it is in the creative process? Do others who need to monitor a work in progress need hard copies? Train yourself and your co-workers to view your work via e-mail rather than in hourly printed updates. Also, learn to edit on the screen and not by marking -up excessive numbers of hard copies.

Use recycled paper whenever possible in the office.

Recycle ink cartridges. – Many office superstores now pay a bounty for returned spent cartridges. Take advantage of this whenever possible. Or the technically proficient may consider using one of the many kits available to refill printer cartridges.

Convert sales materials, newsletters, product announcements etc., to email newsletters. If you want to get fancy, consider imbedding links in the email that will take the reader to a specific area of your company website.

In the rare instance when a client needs a hard copy, send a fax (yes, they still exist) or an email attachment rather than an overnight letter.

Organize your office team to Stomp Out junk mail, whatever form it may take. Consider listing your company with directmail.com.

FOOD WASTE

Establish a compost bucket for coffee grounds, food scraps, etc.

Arrange for bulk water delivery from one of the many available companies. These recyclable five gallon bottles provide clean, fresh tasting drinking water and do not clutter the landfill with individual water bottles. But the best part is that the water service will pick up and deliver to your office, and many of the water machines that they provide offer hot, cold and room temperature water options. Merely, arrange for each team member to provide his or her own water glass and coffee cup.

Purchase an inexpensive set of forks, knives and spoons for the office to replace the disposable plastic ones.

Replace paper towels with cloth towels, whenever possible. There are services in most parts of the country, which will pick up, launder and deliver towels at a reasonable price.

ELECTRONICS

Switch off computers and monitors when not in use or at the end of the day. While this is less convenient, it saves electricity, and as an added perk, makes it damn hard to hack into your system when you are not around.

Consider purchasing those new outlet strips, which allow you to cut-off all power going into computers and peripherals when they are not in use. Many people are unaware that even when most electronic devices are switched off, they are still using and storing electricity.

LIGHTING

Use natural (sun) light, whenever possible.

Train staff to turn off all unnecessary lights.

Replace incandescent lights with the new soft light compact fluorescent lights.

HEAT & AIR CONDITIONING

Open the windows for natural air, whenever possible.

Consider using shades, blinds and awnings on the windows to block direct sun light on warm summer days.

Install ceiling fans. A decent ceiling fan can go a long way toward making a room a pleasant temperature, and it does this at a cost efficient price.

Better control your company’s use of Air Conditioning and heat. The best way to do this is to install a thermostat that can be set to provide minimum heart and air conditioning during the hours when the office is unoccupied.

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