- On 13 April 2011
- In Drive South Africa Blog
30 Ways to Go Green at the Office
As the days go by and we step into the role of adult supporting self, so a life of routine begins to take shape. We live to work to eat to sleep to wake to live to work again: the cycle continual and constant.
With the average work week tallying up to 40 hours per week, one has to begin to think about the effects our energy consumption and operational habits have on the world around us.
As we begin to train our brains into conserving energy, so we need to maintain that momentum whilst at the office.
Below is a list of simple things we can do to ensure we go green at the office
1. Copy and print on both sides of a paper.
2. Shut off electrical equipment when you leave work.
3. Reuse items such as envelopes, folders and paper clips.
4. Use mailer sheets for interoffice mail instead of an envelope.
5. Set up a bulletin board for memos instead of sending a copy to each employee.
6. Use e-mail instead of paper for correspondence.
7. Make use of recycled paper.
8. Use discarded paper for scrap paper.
9. Encourage your company to print documents with soy-based inks, which are considerably less toxic.
10. Use a ceramic coffee mug instead of a disposable cup.
11. Ask your employer to consider flexible work schedules or telecommuting.
12. Recycle printer cartridges.
13. Report smoking vehicles to your local air agency.
14. Avoid slow-burning, smoldering fires as they produce the largest amount of pollution.
15. Burn seasoned wood – it burns cleaner than green wood.
16. Use solar power for office and water heating.
17. Use low-VOC or water-based paints, stains, finishes and paint strippers.
18. Paint with brushes or rollers instead of using spray paints to minimize harmful emissions.
19. Ignite charcoal barbecues with an electric probe or other alternatives to lighter fluid.
20. If you use a wood stove, use one sold after 1990.
They are required to meet federal emissions standards and are more efficient and cleaner burning.
21. Consider purchasing items from a second-hand store.
The fact that toys, bicycles, roller blades, and other age and size-specific items are quickly outgrown means that one can get rid of the clutter, and sell those unwanted items at second-hand stores. Second-hand stores often sell these items in excellent condition since they are used for such a short period of time, and will generally buy them back when you no longer need them.
22. Invest in a reusable coffee cup, which not only cuts down on waste but keeps your beverage hot for a much longer time.
23. Consider if you really need a paperback phone book.
If not, ensure you make provision for the phone book delivery to cease and desist; instead, make use of an online directory. Some estimate that telephone books make up almost ten percent of wastes at dump sites.
24. Use an e-ticket when flying! The cost of processing a paper ticket is approximately ten times the cost of producing an e-ticket.
25. Download your software instead of making use of CD-ROMs.
26. Pay your bills online! Eliminate the waste produced by paper statements; go the online route instead!
27. Make use of rechargeable batteries!
28. Encourage your business to reduce emissions
29. You can extend your positive influence on global warming well beyond your home by actively encouraging others to take action.
30. Consider the impact of your investments.
Check out SocialInvest and Ceres to can learn more about how to ensure your money is being invested in companies, products and projects that address issues related to climate change.
Begin introducing these simple practices into your everyday work life, and before you know it you will see that going green in your office has become nothing less than muscle memory, and soon you will find that saving the planet has become second nature to you, something you do without even thinking twice.