Go green in the office to impact your entire organization and bring sustainability to workplace!
Our work habits tend to go unchecked when we think about living sustainably. No matter how green you’ve gotten your own home, bringing green ideas to the workplace can make a substantial difference and sometimes, in the case of large corporations, impact a lot of people for the better!
So take that green can-do attitude and equip yourself with these 19 tips from around the web, giving you the easiest and most effective tips to go green in the office!
19 Ways To Go Green In The Office
“Build a Green Team.
Create a committee to take on the responsibility of organizing and monitoring your Green office practices. Schedule regular meetings to track success. Free food always helps!
Green Screen™ Your Vendors.
Ask vendors about their social and environmental practices. Are they Conventional? Green? Dark Green? You’ll make your vendor’s aware of where they can improve their practices. And you might even gain insights into better ways of doing business!
Green From the Ground Up.
Incorporate your values into your company’s founding documents. Check out Our Vision for ideas!
Make a Green Checklist.
Find ways to translate your mission into project-specific actions. For example, striving to achieve Zero Waste includes implementing a recycling and composting system (see #7) and a Green Purchasing Policy.
Turn Paper Into Trees—Recycle & Compost.
While recycling is becoming mainstream in office spaces across the county, composting carries a stinky stigma. Trust us, once your office starts doing it, your employees will love it. To prevent odor, throw compost in small green containers (lined with compostable waste can liners) and empty them frequently. Small containers are easier to clean, too. And remember in some areas (like San Francisco), you can even compost food-soaked paper and help turn those disposable plates back into trees!”
Make sure all office equipment is turned off overnight and on weekends. Unplugging equipment saves even more energy than leaving them on stand-by.
Send your computer to sleep.
Set up computers to go into sleep mode when not in use. Short energy breaks can cut energy use by up to 70%.
No more screen savers.
Using screen savers does not save energy. Encourage people to set screen saver settings to ‘none’ or ‘blank screen’.
Lighting at night.
If lighting is needed for security at night, find the lowest wattage, most energy efficient bulbs as possible. Ensure timers are set to go off as soon as the natural light is sufficient – earlier in summer, later in winter.”
“Go second hand.
Look for recycled office furniture. Large companies replace furniture and electrical equipment regularly and it’s usually good quality. It’s cheaper and helps reduce landfill.
Recycle unwanted equipment.
A lot of furniture and electrical equipment can be recycled. Many recycling centers will pick up large items.
Be energy smart.
Buy electrical equipment that is energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star symbol or energy ratings.
If you’re buying new furniture or equipment, check how it has been made. Look for accreditations like TCO99, ISO 14001 and Energy Star.
Sourcing equipment from The Green Office reduces product miles and carbon emissions. As we carbon offset all of our deliveries.”
“Close the loop
Watch what (and how) you eat
Make it a habit to bring your own mug and dishware for those meals you eat at the office.
Make it a policy to provide reusable dishes, silverware, and glasses. Switch to Fair Trade and organic coffee and tea, and buy as much organic and local food as possible for parties and other events. Provide filtered drinking water to reduce bottled-water waste.
Rethink your travel
Make it a habit to take the train, bus, or subway when feasible instead of a rental car when traveling on business. If you have to rent a car, some rental agencies now offer hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles.
Make it a policy to invest in videoconferencing and other technological solutions that can reduce the amount of employee travel.
Reconsider your commute
Make it a habit to carpool, bike, or take transit to work, and/or telecommute when possible. If you need to drive occasionally, consider joining a car-sharing service like Zipcar and Flexcarinstead of owning your own wheels.
Make it a policy to encourage telecommuting (a nice perk that’s also good for the planet!) and make it easy for employees to take alternative modes of transportation by subsidizing commuter checks, offering bike parking, or organizing a carpool board.
Create a healthy office environment
Make it a habit to use nontoxic cleaning products. Brighten up your cubicle with plants, which absorb indoor pollution.
Make it a policy to buy furniture, carpeting, and paint that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and won’t off-gas toxic chemicals.”
Thanks to these outstanding articles you now have the information to take to your boss and initiate a green movement in your own workplace!
Let us know how it goes. We’d love to hear about it. Leave us a comment below or follow us on Facebook!