With St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, it’s time to go green! While painting your office walls a lovely shade of green or decorating the office in honor of the holiday may be a bit extreme, encouraging some new habits around the office that promote environmental awareness will benefit your office, and ultimately the environment, in the long run.
1. Use technology:
Instead of printing 20 handouts for your next company meeting, consider creating a powerpoint presentation that reflects the handouts information, and email a copy to all the participants. Google Docs and other document sharing services make editing and sharing documents among several users extremely simple.
2. Print with awareness:
Every now and then it will be necessary to print a physical copy of a document. When this happens, be aware of how you’re printing: select the draft option, print without color, and use both sides of the paper. If you are printing a presentation or slides put as many pages as possible onto one printed page. This will reduce the use of paper, ink, and electricity.
3. Recycle everything:
Okay, maybe not everything. But being aware of what can and cannot be recycled can significantly increase recycle tendencies. Having a bin clearly labeled specifically for recycling next to the trash bin makes recycling an easy alternative for everyone in the office. Recycling electronics is something that is often overlooked, but should be utilized as well.
4. When you’re not using it, turn it off:
Don’t leave your computer or lights on unnecessarily. Not only when you go home at night should you turn your computer and printers off, but also when you go out for lunch or a meeting. Implementing energy saving modes on your computer allow you to be green without any conscious effort besides turning those settings on.
5. Encourage Green Travel:
If an employee doesn’t necessarily need to work from the central office, allowing the option to work from home or a facility that is nearer to the employees home, will cut down on unnecessary travel expenses and pollution. Carpooling is another alternative, and can promote good relationships among employees.
6. Embrace the great outdoors:
Windows can be a great bonus to an office: not only do you get a great view, but you have access to natural lighting, and even natural air conditioning. If the weather outside is nice, open a window! And turn the electrical lights off when you have some great, natural lighting. Bringing plants indoors is also another way of visually making the office green, but also provides health benefits and cuts back on energy usage.
7. Reusable Dishes:
Instead of using a disposable cup every time someone needs water or coffee, encourage everyone in the office to bring their own reusable cups, or provide cups and mugs for office use. Also, encourage employees to bring their own lunch in reusable containers, which will not only cut down on packaged waste, but will also encourage healthier eating habits. While going green may seem difficult at first, it can be as simple as creating or changing a few new habits, or even changing a few settings on your computer. Going green affects more than just the environment, it can affect your offices productivity and environment in a positive way.