30+ Simple and Extraordinary Ways to Go Green in the Office
Going green in the offices has become a way of life in many offices. Fortunately, it is simple to integrate some routines in the offices that will help to make work easier and eco-friendly in the office. Most of these ways will assist in saving money. This article therefore looks at 30+ simple ways to go green in the office.
When the last tree is cut and the last fish killed, the last river poisoned, then you will see that you can’t eat money.
~ John May
- Reduction and the elimination of paper usage. It is possible since one can print on both sides of the paper. It is also proper to recycle waste papers by using them for other reasons such as note taking and sending them for recycling instead of disposing them into the environment.
- Increment of recycling wastes that are made of glass and aluminum can help to reduce environmental pollution. All the waste materials made from glass and aluminum should be sent to appropriate recycling companies. It will help to reduce accumulation of these wastes in the garbage.
- Use of LED lights or CFL and preference to natural light when possible will help to conserve energy. Artificial lights use more of electricity, and this can account for fifty percent power usage in offices. They will therefore offset VOCs and CO2 emissions.
- Growing of office plants to act as carbon sinks. Plants act as carbon sinks and growing the good ones in the office will contribute to reducing VOCs and carbon dioxide emissions. They will also act as natural air purifiers in addition to their aesthetic value.
- Turning off all computers, lights and other electrical appliances if not in use will help in conserving energy. This will help to lower electricity bill in the office as much as possible, thereby helping to save the money for electricity usage. It will also reduce damages in the office especially if there is power blackout and then it comes back after few minutes to great loads.
- Establishing of ceiling fans and natural ventilation instead of air conditioner will help to make the office as natural as possible. Natural ventilation and ceiling fans are cheaper compared to the air conditioner. Natural ventilations are healthy as they use the natural lights. They also help to keep the office as natural as possible, increasing comfort within the room.
- Usage of recycled papers and toner cartridges during printing will help in reducing wastage. It saves on paper wastage and money. It will also assist in managing the accumulation of paper within the office area. What’s more, it leads to a reduction on the cutting of trees for making papers, resulting in the reduction in environmental degradation and enhancing environmental conservation.
- Keeping the used coffee grounds and using them to nourish the plants. Coffee grounds are a good source of nutrients to the soil and are associated with better crop yields. These coffee grounds can also be used to make compost manure to be employed in the farm leading to increasing in output. Besides, this type of manure is free of organic chemicals which ensure a healthy population.
- Donation of new books and manuals to the local development groups and charity firms will help to avoid wastage. It will help to reduce wastages and environmental pollution. It will also contribute to improving the knowledge of the surrounding people who will be getting free books that they could have bought.
- Donation of old computers. Donation of old computers is part of continuing the lifetime and usability of electric equipments rather than disposing them or rendering them obsolete.
- Asking the employer if telecommuting is possible even for one day per week. This will help to reduce gas usage and reduce carbon emission. You’ll also save on transport costs.
- Changing the way of commuting to the office. Various green options exist. One can opt for carpooling, using bicycles or walking if possible to reduce wastage of money on fuel and reduce carbon emissions.
- Utilization of websites in sharing files will help in reducing paper wastage. Instead of printing and sharing or maintaining paper records, people can use websites to reduce wastage of papers.
- Using cleaning products that are not toxic. Non-toxic cleaning products are free of volatile organic acids thereby cannot harm the people while cleaning the office environment and other office utilities.
- Switching to recycle office supplies where possible. One can use recycle office supplies such as high- post consumer recycled content paper (PCR).
- Plugging off electronic appliances from power cords or sockets can assist in saving energy. Electronic appliances consume electricity even when turned off but still plugged into power cords or sockets. Plugging them off will help in lowering electricity bills.
- Recycling of the empty inks and toner cartridges will help in reducing office expenditure. Office supply firms such as staples and office depot always take the old cartridges and give incentives in the form of cash for recycling them.
- Turning off the lights upon leaving the conference room or any other shared space within the office. It should be habitual that the last person in to leave these rooms should always switch the lights. Such a practice will help in saving energy cost within the office.
- Insist on the use of personal water bottles. It is advisable to use reusable water bottles to avoid polluting the office environment with the non-biodegradable materials. Brining personal water bottles to the office and filling them with tap water is appropriate.
- Use of reusable bowls in bringing lunch to the office help to reduce pollution. Many workers use plastic and paper bags in carrying lunch to the offices not knowing that these packaging materials pollute environment. They should be replaced with containers or bowls that can be re-used to keep the office clean and admirable while at the same time protecting the environment.
- Re-usage of old files folders. This one can be done by flipping the records inside out to help in getting a fresh folder instead of using new ones that will lead to wastage of papers and resources.
- Sending information through emails rather than using paper or giving calls. It makes relay of information faster and efficient, it controls paper usage that can pollute the environment and leads to a reduction of tree cutting which can result in global warming. Receiving of information from other people should also be through electronic delivery.
- Layering of the clothing instead of turning the heat the heat up in the office is appropriate. This will help to save on energy costs in the office.
- Putting the computer to sleep when one is not in the office or if one walks away during the day. Putting the computer to sleep while not in use can help to save on energy costs.
- Limiting frequent travels to meetings assist the office managers to save on travelling expenses. Reducing frequent travels can be done through the use of video or web conferencing services. It not only saves on travelling expenses but also cuts down on transportation emissions.
- Saving and reusing of packaging materials. Packaging materials contribute to a greater percentage in polluting the environment. This can be avoided if they are reused for the longest time possible.
- Opting for online media instead of paper version will help to cut on costs. Paper materials such as magazines, newspapers, trade journals and other publications should be avoided as they are not green to the office budget and to the environment as well.
- Using of e-cards rather than traditional business holiday card. This can help to conserve environment and e-cards are even faster and efficient compared to traditional business cards.
- Turning off the tap water after using can be greener. This will help to save on water bills as well as avoiding dampness in the office.
- Usage of green materials in the office will help to reduce wastages in the office. If the paper use cannot be avoided, it is advisable to recycle the papers and only recyclable materials should be used to manufacture pens and pencils. Use of markers and pens that are refillable are appropriate compared to others that are not refillable. Soaps that are biodegradable are also advisable for use in the offices because they are more eco-friendly.
- Redesigning the office for sustainability makes the office workers comfortable. The design of an office should be in such a way that it is accessible to good light and good air and free of VOCs as well other toxic chemicals.
- Get others involved in the act. Sharing green tips with others can help to boost office work. For instance, asking the boss to buy carbon offsets to reduce carbon emissions Arrangement of an office carpool or group bike commute can prove essential in an office to avoid carbon emissions. Working in shifts and sharing job duties are equally important so that work can be done for three long days instead of five short ones. This helps to reduce office expenditure and reduce emission associated with commuting from home to work.