What makes an office green? It’s not the mint wallpaper or sage carpet, but the environmentally friendly practices employed by everyone in the office...
Look around your work environment. If you see energy-wasting equipment or single-use plastic cups, it’s time to make changes. Greening your office doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Simple changes save money and improve upon the environmental impact your office makes. Every ream of paper, stack of cartons, pound of coffee and bag of tea in your office started life in a forest or on a farm. You can make sure that your office supplies come from lands that were managed responsibly, so that they continue to provide roosts for birds, havens for wildlife, improved livelihoods for workers, and carbon storage for the greenhouse gasses that lead to global warming. Christine Richmond shares in Natural Health Mag how to make your workspace cleaner and greener below!
1. Save Energy
Switch to CFLs. Compact fluorescent bulbs certified by Energy Star use about 75 percent less energy and last ten times longer than incandescents.
Use Power Strips. By plugging printers, computers, and other electronics into power strips, you can flip a switch and turn them off completely. Left on standby mode, electronics account for 5 to 20 percent of your energy bill.
2. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Don't Use Disposable Goods. Keep reusable flatware and a cup at your desk. If you buy takeout for lunch, carry it back in a cloth bag instead of a plastic one (every year, Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags).
Think Before You Print. If you don't need a hard copy, don't print. Otherwise, print double-sided on recycled paper. Consider getting rid of your fax, too; this little-used machine stays plugged in all the time and wastes paper. Instead, use efax.com, a website that allows you to receive faxes as e-mail attachments.
Save Boxes and Bubble Wrap. If you get a lot of packages, Seo suggests bringing the packing materials home and creating a mailing center in a closet (it will come in handy during the holidays). Or ask your local UPS or other shipping company if it will take your used Styrofoam peanuts.
Ask the Company to Recycle. If your office doesn't recycle paper, bottles, and other materials, form a "green team" with co–workers and start a program. Learn how here.
3. Furnish Wisely
Consider Vintage. When you need new office furniture, visit usedfurniture outlets or craigslist.org.
Add Plants. Some potted plants, like philodendrons and peace lilies, help remove pollutants such as formaldehyde from the air; but any type helps create a peaceful, grounding vibe for the office.