Fifteen Ways to Go Green at Work
By Pat Kramer
Going “green” in your office can provide economical, environmental and health benefits to everyone. Here are 15 ways to improve your ‘green’ status in the office:
1. Lighting: Convert lighting to Energy Star – rated light bulbs and fixtures and reduce energy use by two-thirds.
2. Install timers or motion sensors to turn on and shut off lights not in use. Instruct staff to turn off lights when leaving a room for more than 15 minutes.
3. Invest in energy-saving computers, monitors and printers – then donate your old computers (that are less than 5-years old) to charities for a tax deduction.
4. Turn off all computers that are not in use and at the end of the day. To ensure this will not interfere with backup or maintenance, check with your IT person.
5. Cut down on paper usage by printing on both sides of each sheet. Paper can also be reused as scrap paper, for faxing or printing drafts.
6. Recycle all toner and ink products. When necessary, purchase remanufactured cartridges.
7. Go paperless whenever possible by using online or PDFs versions of documents. To reduce junk mail, request removal from mailing lists.
8. Recycle everything: paper, plastics, glass, cell phones, PDAs and pagers. Install bins for recycling and empty them every week. Check out recyclers to make sure they do not export hazardous e-wastes and employ safety practices.
9. Purchase office supplies and furniture from companies that use recycled or environmentally – friendly materials like chlorine – free paper.
10. Replace disposable cups, plates and silverware with reusable products.
11. Provide filtered drinking water at the office to reduce the use of plastic water bottles.
12. Encourage carpooling or ride-sharing. Reward employees who take public transportation or ride their bikes to work.
13. Replace toxic cleaning products with environmentally- friendly products. When making improvements to the office, use non toxic paint and select carpeting, drapes and furniture that do not emit volatile organic compounds or toxic gases.
14. Introduce plants in the workspace. Plants naturally improving the atmosphere and absorb indoor pollutants.
15. Initiate videoconferencing and other technology solutions to reduce travel. Consider telecommuting for staff that can more effectively work from home.
Most of all, make conscious decisions with the environment in mind and you will be on your way to a greener work environment.
Pat Kramer is known as Writer For Hire, a corporate business writer with over 30 years' experience as a professional copywriter and freelance journalist. Pat has been published over 500 times in business, medical, insurance, and entertainment and trade journals. She also ghostwrites articles for business professionals and provides content for websites, One Sheets, brochures, newsletters, business proposals and press releases.