Make Your Work Green

Make Your Work Green

For many people the concept of “going green” involves personal changes at home and in their daily lives around their house and in their off time. Considering, however, the average person can spend a minimum of 10 hours a day on going to, coming from and doing their duties at the office five days a week this can make up a substantial part of your time as well (up to 30% of your life or more, in fact). With that in mind there are a number of different ways that you can personally go green on the job and do your part to save the planet, even if you’re not the boss and making the big calls on what your company is doing.

coffeecup1 – Bring your own cup

This may seem like a small change, but consider how many paper cups are used in offices each day. A single mid-sized company, for instance, can save tens of thousands of trees each year if every employee were to bring their own cup and use it at the water cooler or coffee machine instead of using disposable ones.

disposablecup2 – Steer clear of coffee shops

While it may be tempting to stop by Starbucks or some other coffee stand on the way into work consider simply using the coffee available to you if your office has it available. This can save you not only $3 each morning (or a whopping $775 a year and over $31,000 over a 40 year career) but it also cuts back on pollution by not increasing the number of disposable cups going into the waste bin as soon as you make it to your desk that coffee shops are all too fond of giving out.

computer3 – Use technology to your advantage
While it might be nice to print off documents from time to time simply filing things away in .pdf or even .ppt format for later reference and sharing documents with each other via email can cut back on your own usage substantially. Considering the average office worked uses over 10,000 sheets of paper each year this can be a big time and money saver for you day in day out.

light4 – Mind the lights

Sure, it might be nice to have all the lights on around you at all times to make yourself feel at home, but consider what this is doing to the environment as well. Simply turning off the lights when you’ll be out of an area for more than 15 minutes and limiting your own personal light usage to a small energy efficient desk lamp can reduce your overall energy usage by 50-80% (depending on your environment) and can go a long way towards overall improvements in energy consumption.

laptop5 – Go portable

While big devices may be appealing for a large number of people using a laptop instead of a desktop in addition to other portable device alternatives can help save your energy consumption while affording you extra convenience when you need it most. While this may not always be an option for every employee given some company restrictions on device usage talk to your boss and see what’s possible and what isn’t and whenever possible go the portable route. These devices were designed to work with maximum power efficiency to give the best portability possible, after all, so don’t be afraid to use them when you can.

power_strip6 – Kill the power

If you’re going home at night and your computer doesn’t need to be on then it shouldn’t. The same thing goes for any power strips or other machines that may normally switch to standby instead of a complete shutdown at the end of the day. While it’s true that going to standby after a short while can save your power usage by as much as 70% on a regular basis an overall power reduction of 100% is far better, so be sure to turn off and even unplug your devices as often as possible in order to kill the power drain they may be having.

printer7 – Reuse old paper

Any paper that is still in good condition but only has one side printed on is a perfect candidate to be sent through the printer again if you need an unimportant document printed off for your reference. If you regularly need to make notes while on the job as well and have a stack of old papers that are destined for the trash bin anyway consider turning them into a notepad instead. Simply take the pages that have usable sides but can’t be re-printed on, cut them into four equal sized pieces and either staple them together or clip them together at the top and you’ve got yourself a free, ready to use notepad.

recycle8 – Recycle, recycle, recycle

With the amount of paper going though offices these days a huge amount of waste each year can be reduced though simple recycling and material reclamation processes. The products of these processes can then be re-purchased by companies looking to have a positive impact upon the environment as well and can help cut overall carbon emissions by a substantial amount while at the same time helping to encourage additional tree growth by reducing the overall need for additional paper.

refurboffice9 – Refurbished is your friend

Many times refurbished or remanufactured products are available for purchase that are as good as the original but for a fraction of the cost as well as having only a fraction of the impact upon the environment. If you’re looking for some new tools to help your out on your job consider what refurbished options are available to you first as you may be surprised by what you can find.

Of course don’t limit yourself to these few recommendations as well as there are a wide range of possibilities that you can do each day both on your way to the job as well as at your job to help out the environment, with new possibilities coming about each and every day. As always keep abreast of the latest news and releases of “green” technology that may be coming your way and try to incorporate as many different practices into your life as possible. After all, you’ll reap the financial rewards just as much as the environment will benefit as well thanks to the cost saving aspects going green can have as well.

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