Do a Waste Audit
Be aware what your office or workplace consumes and throws away. Most of us are pretty busy at work, if you can’t do everything “green” (and believe me, most people can’t) just do the things that are going to have the most impact. If your office generates a lot of waste paper, find ways to reduce this waste stream and recycle the rest. If your office throws away a lot of beverage containers, start a recycling program. When everyone does a little, it ends up helping a lot.
Use Less Energy
If your office has a lot of windows, leave the lights off and use the natural lighting nature provides. There's no reason to ignore a free light source and your company’s electric bill will be lower. Tell the boss that you’re saving him/her money, they like that. Here are some other tips to use less energy:
- Turn off lights when not in use.
- Shut down computers at the end of the day.
- Turn off printers, scanners, and other peripheral devices that are only used occasionally.
- Buy Energy Star rated products if possible
Everyone has a computer these days, so go electronic and ditch the paper, save for that birthday card for Grandma Florina’s 90th birthday. Other ways you can march into the 21st century are:
- Resist the temptation to print everything
- Keep electronic files instead of paper files, if possible
- Send email instead of letters when possible
- Eliminate blank pages from documents before printing
- Email electronics documents when sharing or reviewing.
Ditch the Disposables
Try to steer clear of disposable products whenever possible.
When Possible Buy Recycled Content Products
Close the recycling loop by purchasing products made with recycled content. Easy ways to close the loop include:
- Buy recycled content copy paper with at least 30% recycled content
- Buy paper towels, napkins that contain recycled content
Reuse shipping and Packing Materials
Don’t throw away shipping boxes, padded envelopes, packing peanuts or bubble wrap! Save them for reuse or recycling. If you cannot use them, find someone who can. Many stores that offer shipping services will accept packing materials and boxes from the public for reuse, after all it saves them money
Share rides to work, home and when going to lunch. If you have room in your car or want to join a carpool, visit CommuteConnections website and register to join.
Bike to Work
People who bike to work are supergreen!
Use Natural Materials Whenever Possible
Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and provide biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff.
Bring your Lunch
Bring lunch to work in reusable containers and use washable utensils instead of disposable ones. By making yourself healthy meals and snacks, you are more likely to eat them and not as likely to grab a burger at the fast food joint down the street.
Get Others in on the Act
Share tips around the office. Try to always demonstrate a positive attitude about recycling and never scold others for improper disposal. Coach them in a positive way and remember it takes a while to change behavior.