April 22 is Earth Day, and that’s the perfect opportunity to give your office an eco-friendly makeover! Here are eight tips for a greener office:
1. Use less paper, and store files in the cloud. Only print documents when it’s absolutely necessary. In all other cases, read them on your computer or device. In addition to saving trees, this has the added advantage that you can access the data anywhere, plus, you can easily navigate through documents.
2. When you need to print something, use recycled paper. Nowadays, recycled paper comes in a wide range of types, weights, and sizes, so it’s suitable for anything from fast drafts to formal proposals.
3. Order remanufactured ink cartridges. Ink cartridges are detrimental to the environment because both the casing and the ink are highly toxic. You can roll in a recycle program that provides remanufactured ink cartridges as a low cost.
4. Ban disposable cups. Instead, maintain a properly outfitted pantry with enough cups and glasses for your entire team. You can also encourage employees to bring their favorite mugs to the office.
5. Use ENERGY STAR equipment and LED lighting. Desktop computers, laptops, printers, and all other types of electrical equipment that come with the ENERGY STAR label are certified to be energy-efficient. In addition, as Joe Kelly states in his Chron article titled “How to Be Sustainable at Work,” LED bulbs consume far less energy than regular lighting and can last up to 10,000 hours.
6. Make sure all electrical equipment is switched off at the end of the day. This includes lights, coffee machines, and printers. Not only will it save energy; turning off your online equipment will also help protect you against cyber threats.
7. Encourage telecommuting. According to the Federal Transit Administration, 29 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are caused by transportation. What’s more: Single occupancy vehicles have a much higher emission production, relatively speaking, than any form of public transit. That’s why allowing employees to work from home on a regular basis will significantly reduce their carbon footprints.
8. Get your employees involved. The Earth Day 2017 campaign is all about environmental and climate literacy. If you want to help raise awareness about these issues, you can invite your employees to help organize one or more events in your company or even in your local community. Earth Day Network provides a selection of toolkits that you can use as a guideline. Of course, you can always use information from a different organization, like Stand for Trees or The Nature Conservancy.
All it takes to get a greener office is a bit of research and some smart choices. Plus, even after Earth Day is over, you’ll still have a workspace that’s friendlier to its employees and the environment.
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