When it comes to protecting our environment, little things really do mean a lot. In 2008, minor changes in energy usage by Americans saved $19 billion and reduced greenhouse gas emissions in an amount equivalent to that generated by 29 million automobiles.
Just think of the potential if you can get your office to “go green!”
An eco-friendly office environment not only helps to save our planet, but it also helps your company save money. And, it can help boost morale as team members collaborate to support the greater good. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Save a Tree
Have you heard of the 3Rs: reduce, re-use and recycle? They apply to most aspects of environmental conservation, but perhaps nowhere are they more relevant than when it comes to a simple product used countless times throughout the day: paper. Reduce paper usage by:
- Avoiding it all together. Fax documents directly from your computer. Share subscriptions to periodicals and journals. Edit documents on your screen instead of printing and hand editing them.
- Decreasing the amount you do use. Print and copy double sided. Email documents as attachments. When generating draft copies, use the reverse side of paper that has already been used and relegated to the recycling bin. (Did you know that producing a single sheet of virgin paper uses 20 watt-hours of energy?)
- Recycling shredded paper. See if your shipping department can use it instead of purchasing additional packaging material. Or, let employees take it home to use, for their personal shipping needs or as bedding for small pets.
- Having printed materials produced on recycled paper stock. This could include letterhead, business cards, envelopes, and promotional items.
Run Equipment Efficiently
Use these tips to save energy, time and space, as well as reduce noise:
- Switch to a laptop. Laptops use only 10 percent of the energy required by desktop computers. And, they take up less room and are virtually noiseless.
- Use dot matrix, impact or inkjet printers. Dot matrix and impact printers use 80 to 90 percent less energy while providing good speed and adequate quality. Black-and-white inkjet printing uses 95 percent less energy. Similar savings can be achieved by using inkjet fax machines.
- Reduce the size of your computer monitor. A 14-inch color monitor uses up to 50 percent more energy than a 10-inch monitor.
Make it a Team Effort
You can be a 3R champion by taking the lead in your office’s eco-friendly strategy. Getting the entire team involved makes everyone feel good, for the simple reason that being eco-friendly is the right thing to do – and it’s contagious! Initiatives might include:
- Setting up a recycling center. Place labeled bins in a common area and arrange to have items picked up or delivered to a waste management center. If the center pays for materials, use the funds to buy lunch for your team or support a charitable cause.
- Carpooling. Save gas, save money, and maybe make some friends in the process.
With a minimum investment of time, effort and creativity, it’s easy to “go green.” Before you know it, it becomes second nature. And your workplace and your planet will thank you for it!
For more tips on building a better workplace, contact the expert team at Alternative Staffing today.