How to Create a Green Culture in Your Workspace
As you transition your home to a healthy green home, you’ll want to start transferring those habits to your office. Paper and the endless amount of electricity and disposables that come with an office will ultimately find their way to the landfills just like it does at home. So, start leading by example and begin making small changes and talking to your office manager.
Office Recycling Program
One of the easiest ways to get the office on the bandwagon is to start a recycling program (if your office doesn’t already have one). We all know the massive amounts of paper that go through our offices. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set up a central bin (or two if you need it, depending on your office size) where everyone can recycle their paper. Encourage the office manager to buy only recycled paper. Start turning off computers and lights at night and turn down the heat a few degrees.
Energy & Lighting
Your company spends about one-quarter of its energy bill on lighting. Encourage your office manager to start switching to LEDs (light-emitting diodes) or CFLs which use up to 80% less energy. If your office uses tubular fluorescents, ask them if they are using a T6 or T8. These are more efficient than the standard T12 and produce more light per watt. Other energy-saving tools that are great for the office are occupancy sensors, timers, and an Energy Star programmable thermostat.
Computers and Office Equipment
When it comes time to purchase new computers, fax, scanner, copier machines, and more encourage the office manager to look for Energy Star rated computers. If every computer sold in the US were Energy Star, we could save over $2 billion. And it would be the equivalent of taking 2 million cars off the road.46 While you’re at it, replace the old water cooler with an Energy Star-rated one.
If you’re paying $20 for each printer cartridge, start refilling them or buy recycled cartridges. This saves you money and saves a few from the landfill. You can buy your own refill kits online or you can take them to places like Walgreens or Office Max to have them refilled. Staples will take back your old cartridges and recycle them.
When you do get rid of old and outdated equipment be sure that it is taken to your city’s electronic waste recycling facility (and this goes for all your home electronics including cell phones, computers, stereos, etc). To find one near you google “electronic waste recycling” with your city name. Many retailers and manufacturers of electronic equipment are also taking back the same equipment they sold you and recycling them. Xerox, Apple, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard all take back their own equipment.
Bring Your Own Containers
If you drink coffee or tea daily, instead of picking one up at the local coffee joint, save a few bucks. Bring your own organic coffee or tea to work with your own mug. With cappuccinos and lattes exceding $5 I bet you’ll inspire others in the office to do the same.
Recycle Peanuts & Packaging
If your office receives a lot of shipments with peanuts and packaging materials, create a recycling bin to store it so you can reuse it in your own shipments. If you don’t reuse the peanuts and packaging materials check your local UPS store. Many times, they will recycle them.
Green cleaning doesn’t stop at home. The indoor air quality is just as important at the office as it is at home (America spends about 90% of their time indoors). Talk to the office manager or cleaning crew and ask them to use green cleaners.
Where Can I Learn More?
If this topic interests you, you will also want to consider professional training, certification, and career opportunities as a Certified Holistic Nutrition Coach, Certified Holistic Life Coach, Certified Master Health and Wellness Coach or Stress Management Coach.
You can also check out these other blogs posts:
- What is Green Living?
- Can a Green Living Lifestyle Help Prevent Disease?
- Reasons That Going Green and Sustainable Living Makes Sense
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