How Your Office Can Go Green in 2013

Vanishing PointWe’re all in it Together! 

Owing to increased global warming and rapidly depleting non-renewable resources, we have all started to look into ways in which they can save the environment and the Earth.

And since office buildings contribute largely to the consumption of resources and release of harmful chemicals into the environment, a big difference can be made to sustaining the environment if all companies take certain measures.

Here are a few ways in which offices can contribute towards conserving the environment without much expense. 

Reducing Energy Consumption

Go green with your commute

Offices can encourage their employees to use public transport, bike, walk or car pool to work. This helps conserve fuel as well as reduce emissions.

Save on electricity

Large corporate buildings consume vast amounts of electricity merely by powering up their computers.

Furthermore, it can often be seen that most of these computers have been left in standby mode over the weekend. Even though desktops consume only 3-15 watts while in standby, when all are taken into consideration, this amounts to an astronomically large consumption of electricity – which is a total waste. 

To resolve this issue, employees can be encouraged to put computers into standby mode when not in use for more than one hour and to switch off completely when they leave for the night or the weekend. Most office staff could also use laptops instead of desktops as energy consumed by a laptop is far less when not in use. 

Consider also using CFL instead of incandescent bulbs as CFLs use 75% lesser energy and last up to ten times longer than standard lights. 

3. Work from home options

Allowing employees to telecommute (work from home) as much as possible helps reduce fuel consumption, time and emission of gas into the atmosphere. This also has the added advantage of the employee being happy and contented. 

Reducing Paper Consumption

Go digital

Digitization goes a long way in reducing paper usage. Using less paper can help conserve more trees. Digital documents can be also used in meetings to reduce the need for printed paper. Default settings of printers can be also set to print double sides. Already used papers can be used by employees for all kinds of rough usage instead of fresh paper.

Reusable alternatives

Offices can stop providing disposable cups, plates, etc. and encourage employees to bring reusable alternatives. This can go a long way in preserving paper (and trees).

Recycle paper

Used paper can be collected with separate trays and sent for recycling instead of just being thrown away. Offices also can use 100% recycled paper as opposed to 30% – 50% for all purposes. 

Organic Products 

Using organic eco-friendly cleaning supplies helps in preserving the environment from any toxic chemicals which may be present in standard supplies. 

Using Green Office Products 

Nowadays, green office products such as recycled papers, envelopes, post-it notes, etc. are available at all major office supply stores.

They can be used in place of the usual supplies. Also, paper clips and tags can be used instead of staples. Paper clips are made of aluminum which can be recycled and reused easily. 

Eco-Friendly Drinks: 

1. Drinking water

It has been estimated that Americans use about 35 billion bottles every year. This number can be reduced considerably if offices have a water delivery service. Else, a reverse osmosis water filtration system could be installed and used for providing drinking water to employees.

Eco-friendly caffeine

Providing coffee to one’s staff is a big morale booster and helps employees keep up with their work. But instead of the usual coffee provided, employees can be offered Fair Trade, shade-grown or organic coffee.

These varieties of coffee, while being more healthy and tasty, are grown under eco-friendly conditions which don’t involve cutting trees or using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Both employers and employees involved in this business work under ideal conditions and receive a living wage. 

While the above measures may seem quite basic and easy to implement, there’s no doubt they do go a long way towards preserving the atmosphere and environment for us all to enjoy.

About the Author:
Amy Harris is a writer for Expert Market, an office equipment and franking machines website. She is concerned with environmental issues and greener alternatives in the workplace.