Our friends at SaveOnEnergy wrote an article and featured us in their eco-friendly green office initiatives. Take a look and tell us, how do you stay Green?
by: Brittany Williams
With some folks spending more time at the office than at home, it’s important to reduce one’s carbon footprint at work. Luckily, leading an eco-friendly lifestyle at the office isn’t difficult. A few small changes to your at-work habits and you can cut down on your energy consumption.
Cut down on your usage of non-recyclables. Use a mug instead of foam cups. Buy recycled paper for your printer. If your office insists on disposable cutlery, purchase forks, spoons and knives made out of corn starch, although it’s most ideal to have reusable ones. Same goes for plates and bowls. Of course, if you’re looking to print business cards or T-shirts for the office, order from Jakprints. This eco-friendly company uses green materials and plants a tree for every order submitted.
This isn’t the ‘70s. The majority of offices these days are mostly digital. Make sure you use computer technology to its fullest. Refrain from printing out and photocopying memos. Exchange large files with thumb drives or online services instead.
Put all the appliances in the office on energy-saving settings. Computers don’t have to be working at full capacity 24/7. You can even buy energy-efficient appliances, such as eco-friendly refrigerators. Also replace light bulbs in the office with energy-efficient models. Consider motion sensor lights to save energy in rooms without a lot of traffic.
OK, this isn’t something everyone in the office can do. But if you live in a state where electricity and natural gas customers get to shop around for plans different than what the utility offers, encourage your office manager to compare plans to find a rate that will save your company money.
Vampire appliances are electronics that continue to use energy even if they’re turned off. They usually have a standby mode that requires power at all times. Vampires include televisions, printers, photocopiers, cellphone chargers and laptop chargers. At the end of the day, make sure that you turn all appliances off – even your computer. Laptops and desktop computers continue to use electricity if you leave them on sleep mode. Then, unplug all vampire electronics. If this step seems like a hassle, plug all your vampires into a power strip and simply unplug the strip before you leave the office.
Organize an office carpool. This easy change will save you big bucks on gas money and will greatly reduce the office’s carbon footprint. Who knows – maybe one of your co-workers owns a hybrid or an electric car! Another alternative is eradicating your commute altogether. Try telecommuting or working four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days. Or, if you live close to work, burn some calories by biking to the office.
If you’re looking to spruce up your work wardrobe, check your local thrift store for new duds. Also try to avoid dry clean-only fabrics. If you work in a formal setting and absolutely have to wear dry clean-only clothing, try to find a green dry cleaner in your city. These professionals use a much more earth-friendly process to clean fragile fabrics.