Increasing Efficiency While Being Green: Resolutions for 2014

As 2013 winds down, most of us are making personal goals and resolutions for the coming year. You don’t need to stop at just improving your personal lifestyle. Your office can also set goals as a group and as individuals. Being green is high on the agenda for most offices these days and if your staff is looking to save energy and be kinder to the environment this year, below are some things you’ll want to add to your list of resolutions:

Being more energy-conscious

Energy isn’t just used in driving to work or in making products. Keeping your computer turned on while you go to lunch uses unnecessary energy. So does leaving the lights on in the conference room or rest room when they’re not in use. All of those little things add up. Plus, in addition to saving on your electricity usage, being energy-conscious will help your company’s bottom line.

Switching from paper to online forms

The average office worker uses more than 10,000 pieces of paper each year, according to Reduce.org. Some types of offices, such as law firms and banks, are even more paper-heavy. Online forms help to reduce this need for paper as well as reduce the space needed for filing cabinets and other paper storage. Such online forms can also be accessible to authorized users off-site and multiple users at the same time.

Use both sides of the paper

Another simple way to reduce paper usage is to use both sides of the page for non-essential matters. This can mean using the backs of discarded pages as scrap paper or even re-inserting them in the computer printer to use as the blank back side.

Opt for recycled paper stock

When you do buy paper, look at choices made from recycled paper pulp, that’s ideally chlorine-free.

Car pool

According to Treehugger.com, Americans can save more than eight billion gallons of gas each year if just one more person rode in each commuter car each day. That’s not just saving energy but saving dollars too.

Rethink the toxic cleaning products

Bleach and other harsh cleaners can derail your green effort. Unless you handle the purchasing, you probably don’t even think about what your cleaning staff uses. Some companies bring their own products to clean your office. If so, let them know that you prefer they use cleaning products that are environmentally-friendly.

Going green at the office is a process that won’t happen overnight. However, if you add a few new initiatives each year, you’ll soon be able to advertise to your clients and customers that you maintain a green work environment. You won’t just save money on utility bills. You could gain some new customers for your green efforts too.

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