We all know how important it is to think green for the sake of our planet and save money at the same time. Most people think about greening at home, but many don’t think about greening at the office. The fact is that the office environment offers many great opportunities to go green and save.
A fun idea is to make office greening a company project. If everyone gets involved in looking for innovative ways to reduce consumption and waste, the entire office can be more economical, healthier and more productive.
Many offices develop a sick office syndrome. This is when the entire staff takes turns sharing and re-sharing the same virus for an extended period of time. The practice of greening includes improving the healthfulness of the work environment, thereby reducing lost-time illnesses and improving overall productivity.
For environmental conservation and cost savings try a few of these green office tips:
- Use recycled paper products throughout the office. Separate your waste paper and take it to the local recycling center. Many cities have services that provide a waste paper container that is emptied on a certain schedule.
- When purging files or documents, use a shredder and place the shredded paper in your paper recycling container.
- Refill or recycle ink and toner cartridges. When possible, purchase a laser printer. These use less toner and no ink.
- When possible, encourage the use of pencils instead of pens. Pens leave more waste in landfills and are more expensive.
- Separate and recycle aluminum cans. A simple container that is readily accessible to everyone works fine. Cash these cans in to help support an annual company picnic.
- Use bio-degradable trash bags. The small added expense is worth it for the planet.
- Use only rechargeable batteries in battery-powered devices. Regular batteries go to landfills and pollute the earth.
- If possible, coordinate a program whereby certain job descriptions can be performed from home with an internet connection and telephone. The savings realized by the company and the employee will be substantial.
For personal health and overall wellness try a few of these easy best practices:
- Provide waterless hand sanitizer for every employee and work station. Pay particular attention to restrooms, work stations, copy rooms, fax machines, telephones, etc. Also, sanitize the door knobs regularly.
- Install warm-white or soft-white lighting. Cooler lighting reduces stress and increases productivity.
- Allow as much natural light to enter the office as possible. If no outside light is available, use lighter colors for decorating and install artwork and photos of outdoor scenes.
- Be sure heating and air conditioning filters are kept clean and sanitized.
- Sanitize kitchen or break room areas regularly.
These are just a few green office tips. With a bit of innovation and creativity, you and your office team can discover many ways to go green and save