How To Go Green At Work
Going green at home these days is a given, with Energy Star appliances and recycling becoming a part of everyday life. Considering the fact that many people spend several hours each day at the office, taking steps to make workplaces more environmentally friendly is a natural extension of a beneficial energy-saving lifestyle. Here are a few cost-effective strategies for going green in the office.
Lighting & Lighting Habits
The electric costs of lighting an office or work space can be up to 50% of total monthly usage.
- Install timers or motion sensors on lighting in common areas such as walkways, restrooms, and break rooms.
- Institute a Turn It Off habit in the workplace, reminding employees to utilize natural light when available, and turn off electric lights when they will be out of the room for more than 15 minutes.
- Replace existing bulbs with Energy Star rated light bulbs. This simple switch can make a big difference, as they use more than 50% less energy than traditional bulbs.
Reduce unnecessary paper use by utilizing other Workflow Processes to everyday needs.
- Think before you print. Chances are good that your document or file can just as easily be read, shared, and stored online.
- Utilize direct deposit and nix the paper checks.
- Distribute employee manuals, updates, and other important documents online.
- Reuse old paper for documents you absolutely must print, or use discarded print material as note paper.
- Take advantage of online form creators and workflow management software for everything from employee training and customer feedback to purchasing and reporting. As a bonus, ditching paper for online forms makes for smoother workflow and faster response times.
Office supplies and other work-related materials can just as easily be purchased green as not. Buying products with recycled content saves both energy and natural resources, and generally require fewer chemicals and materials to produce. Recycled and remanufactured goods usually cost less, too, which is great news for the budget.
- Buy paper with at least a 35% post consume paper content. Recycled paper is now as bright as non-recycled and works just as well for printing and copying.
- Purchase remanufactured toner and ink cartridges. These usually cost less than newly manufactured cartridges, and help keep plastic and metal out of landfills.
- Buy only Energy Star appliances such as printers and computers, which use up to 75% less energy than traditional models.
- Make it a policy to buy from, and work with, companies that can boast a greener footprint. Identify the greenest options in both products and suppliers, thereby helping the environment twofold and securing the confidence of your customers and clients.
Remember, going green in the workplace is as easy as taking the first step. As each step becomes a habit for every employee, the whole office contributes to the health of both the environment and the company.
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