Week 10: Reduce your office impact.
In week 10 of our 52 Weeks of Good campaign we will be focusing on of we can make our places of work more environmentally friendly. Whether you work at home or in a large corporation, there are many little things that can be changed to make a positive impact and reduce your carbon footprint. Here are my top 10 ways to make your office more environmentally friendly:
- Buy recycled (or partially recycled) paper for all of your printing needs. Every office goes through tons of paper, so lets at least use already recycled materials before we cut down more trees for our own needs.
- Print double sided. Not only will you be using half as much paper, but you will be spending less on buying new paper, too!
- Buy environmentally friendly cleaning products! Soap, table cleaners, window washing, you name it and you can find an eco-friendly product to match all of your needs.
- Set-up a solid plan for disposing of things you don’t need. Your waste bins should be the smallest with a large recycle container and compost bin. If you separate what you use, you’ll find little of it actually goes into the garbage. Once it is set-up, teach your staff with a quick lesson of what goes where.
- Create a drop-off center of your office for those hard to recycle items like ink cartridges, light bulbs and batteries. Collect them and take them to the appropriate recyclable facilities. Not only will your office be more earth friendly, but you are creating yet another reason for people to stop by your place of work which could lead to more business, especially since they know your good will in creating a cleaner environment.
- If you are creating marketing materials, be sure you are putting them on recycled materials or materials that can be recycled. None of this high gloss or special coats that make your materials end-up in the landfills.
- Stack your office kitchens with reusable plates, bowls, cups and silverware and get rid of your one-time use items (such as paper or styrofoam cups, plastic utensils, etc.). Sure it is a lot easier to use something and just throw it away, but really, how hard is it to wash a plate? If you say very hard, you’re just lazy.
- Turn your computers and lights off at the end of the day. A great way to cut the electrical bill and help the environment.
- Do you ship or mail anything on a weekly basis? Of course you do! How environmentally friendly are your shipping materials? You’re not still using styrofoam peanuts are you? Come on, get with the 21st century as there are plenty of eco-chic alternatives and your clients will be impressed.
- Moving on up? Time to re-vamp the look of the office? Find environmentally friendly items or better yet, check-out the second hand stores and see how you can create unique spaces with individual style on dime. Lastly, if you are getting rid of your used furniture, be sure it doesn’t end up in a landfill and donate it to a second hand store. It may be old to you, but to someone else it will be brand new!
Have other ideas? Please share! Write a comment below with ways you are making your office more environmentally friendly!