WAYS TO GO GREEN AT WORK
The last thing you need is another office supply catalog or credit
card offer on your desk. Before tossing out junk mail, call the company's
toll- free service number and ask that your name be removed from the
mailing list. Have online retailers e-mail you instead. Almost half
of all catalogs are never opened, yet nearly 62 million trees are
destroyed and 28 billion gallons of water are used to produce them
Shred and reuse unwanted paper. When you get
shipments in, save your boxes so that you can use them again for
Distribute memos via email
Don' t print out huge employee handbooks. Allow employees to access PDF copies at their leisure.
- Encourage employees to walk or bike to work. Make
walking or biking an easier option by offering showers and private
changing areas at your office.
- Offer a bonus for green commuters If employees agree to walk, bike,
or take public transportation to work, offer them a small bonus for
- Offer a bonus for green commuters. If employees
agree to walk, bike, or take public
transportation to work, offer them a small bonus for encouragement.
- Support alternative schedules Allow employees to
work longer hours, but fewer days,
in order to let them stay at home once a week or more.
- Create a carpool program. Many of your employees
may want to carpool, but don't know where coworkers live or simply
don't have the courage to ask around. You can help by administering
a program to get them connected.
- Offer telecommuting. If some or all of your employees
work can be done at home, give them the option to telecommute.
- Encourage efficient vehicles. If you provide company
cars to employees, consider purchasing hybrids. Additionally, encourage
employees to rent hybrids or other high-efficiency cars when they
take business trips.
- Videoconference. Whenever possible, try to videoconference
instead of traveling to meetings.
- Buy used furniture. When appointing your office,
check out sites like Craigslist or FreeCycle for cheap or free used
furniture. You can also check out remanufactured cubicles for both
cost and environmental savings
- Recycle floppy disks Turn your old floppy disks
into a pen cup or other useful storage unit.
- Buy used copiers and faxes. Manufacturing equipment
like copiers and
faxes creates lots of waste. Buy used equipment to eliminate waste,
but make sure that they are still efficient.
- Unplug equipment when not in use Encourage employees
to shut down and unplug copiers, printers and other equipment when
they leave the office every evening.
- Recycle your e-waste. Cell phones, computers, printers
and other equipment can often be recycled. Look for recycling programs
in your area that accept these kinds of materials
- Change your thermostat. Set your thermostat a few
degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer.
Encourage employees to bring personal fans and sweaters to ensure
that they stay comfortable.
- Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs. As your current
light bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs.
They are more efficient and last much longer than traditional bulbs.
- Buy from a green energy company. Many utility companies
generate their electricity using wind or other alternative energy
sources. Consider purchasing your electricity from one of these companies
- Create an after hours and weekend thermostat setting. If
you know your employees aren't going to be in the office, create a
setting that conserves more energy during these hours. Be sure to
allow an override function so that it can be changed if someone decides
to come in to work.
- Turn off lights when not in use. Ask employees
to turn off lights when they leave. Invest in automatic switches in
places like the bathroom and supply areas so that they turn on and
off whenever someone enters or leaves the room
- Take advantage of natural lighting. Install windows
and skylights so that you can use natural daytime light instead of
- Buy Energy Star fixtures. When
buying fixtures, look for the Energy Star label to save at least two-thirds
less energy than regular ones.
- Unplug computers when not in use. Encourage employees
to shut down and unplug their computers when they leave the office
for the day.
- Buy for quality. When shopping for computers, buy
units that will last and avoid becoming obsolete too quickly. This
way, you'll avoid contributing to e-waste.
- Buy for energy savings. When shopping, be sure
to ask if your computers, monitors and printers are energy efficient.
- Give your computer a nap. Ask your IT department
to set your computers to go to sleep when not in use. Creating short
energy breaks can cut energy use by up to 70 percent.
- Banish screen savers. Make sure that employees
know screen savers won't save energy. They eat up lighting and processing
energy. Instead, set screen savers to none or blank screen.
- Buy smaller monitors. You can reduce your monitor's
consumption by up to 30% by using a 2-inch smaller monitor.
- Consider laptops. Consider buying laptops instead
of desktops, as they generally use less energy and are more efficiently
- Use simple cleaning supplies. Discuss cleaning
supplies with your maintenance crew. Ask them to consider using cleaners
like baking soda or vinegar instead of commercial products.
- Do the dishes. Provide reusable dishes, silverware
and glasses for luncheons.
- Provide filtered water. Instead of bottled water,
provide employees with filtered drinking water and reusable cups.
- Install low-flow faucets and toilets. Help conserve
water by installing low-flow faucets and toilets in restrooms and
other common areas. This will also help conserve electricity by reducing
your water heater's output.
- Consider office sharing. If you have a number of
employees that don't use the office regularly, consider assigning
offices based on a schedule. You'll save on utilities, equipment,
furniture and more.
- Buy sugar and cream dispensers. Avoid paper packets
and save waste by offering employees sugar and cream in large dispensers.
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WAYS TO GO GREEN
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