Happy Earth Day Divas and Gents! Everywhere you look, individuals and businesses are looking for ways to go green, and for companies there is a valid business case to do so. Not only does it help the environment, but going green can also save the company a good amount of money in the long run. As such, it's not surprising that companies are not only looking for ways to make their offices greener, but they are also implementing policies that require employees to conform to "green" initiatives. Even if your company has not hopped on the green train, there are a few simple ways for you, individually, to contribute to the cause. In honor of Earth Day 2012, here is a list of 8 Simple Ways to Go Green In Your Office. Check them out, and let me know what you think!
1. Dump Screen Savers - This is probably the easiest thing you can do in your office for the planet. Instead of using screen savers when you are away from your computer for a period of time, switch to a power-saving mode that allows your monitor to power down during periods of inactivity.
2. Turn Your Lights Off When You Step Out - Okay, I lied....this is the easiest thing you can do in your office for the planet. If your work days are anything like mine, you spend a good amount of time meeting with colleagues throughout the day in conference rooms...rooms that are not your office. Do the planet a favor and turn off your lights when you are not in your office. Make it a point to do it...soooooo easy!
3. Eliminate Wasteful Printing - When possible, try to review and/or read work-related documents and articles on the computer screen instead of printing to avoid wasting paper. Especially when the document will inevitably find its way in the trash. If you absolutely must print out a document, change your printer setting so that pages will print on both sides of the paper.
4. Use Natural Lighting in Lieu of Lights - If your office happens to have big windows that illuminate your work space just as well as power lights, use natural lighting instead. If you have this option, crank up the blinds and turn off the lights!
5. Drink From Reusable Cups - A couple of years ago, my bosses gave all of their employees reusable coffee cups for Employment Appreciation Day...genius! This simple gift allows employees to enjoy their daily cups of coffee or tea, and eliminates the use of disposable coffee cups. I'm sure this initiative saves companies hundreds of dollars in coffee cup expenses, and it does its part to help save the planet. You can get these reusable cups at any drug store (CVS, Walgreens) and also at Target, Walmart, and your local coffee shops.
6. Use Greener Office Supplies - Recyclable printer paper, ink and toner cartridges, and other re-manufactured office supplies are another great way to greenify your office. It also saves the company money. And yes I am aware that greenify is not a word!
7. Decorate With Plants - Not only are plants a great office decorating piece, but I hear they "absorb airborne pollutants" and "emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air" (see Article). All of this, and they're pretty...get some plants!
8. Create or Suggest Creating a Task Force - Create or suggest that your company create a Green Task Force. What's the purpose of the task force you ask? To brainstorm about different ways to make the office greener. And don't just create a dictatorish type of task force...create one that gets the entire office excited about and involved in making the office planet-friendlier. Initiate "go-green" contests, or present rewards for employees who are dedicated to the cause. Make it fun!
These are just a few great ways to go green in your office, but their are plenty more may be beneficial to individuals and businesses alike. If you would like to read more, check out this article from American Express Open Forum entitled "30 Easy Ways to Go Green in the Office."
Can any of you think of additional ways to Go Green in the office? Please share in the comments below! And have a great week!