6 Green Tips to get your Office on the Sustainability track.
Everyone has Green Tips that they are doing, maybe you have started carrying a re-usable water bottle, bought a hybrid vehicle, planted your own vegetables, but why stop there? Here are a few Green tips that you can take to the office. The possibilities are endless!
We need lights at work but why not do our best to cut back on our lighting. , but we can do our best to cut down on unnecessary use of lighting. Lighting reduction options:
- Put motion sensor lights in rooms that are not in use so that lights turn off when no one is there.
- Replace standard bulbs and old fluorescent lighting fixtures with LED bulbs and tubes.
- LED bulbs use 85% less energy and last 20 years longer than standard incandescent light bulbs.
- LED lighting also creates less heat
- LEDs are 100% recyclable. Unlike fluorescent counterparts and high intensity discharge (HID) technologies, LEDs contain no toxic materials, hazardous mercury, or halogen gases. CFL’s may save you energy but they are not good for the environment.
2. Cut Down on Office Transportation
Carpools and public transportation benefit both the environment and your employees. Here’s some ideas:
- Offer carpool-matching services that allow employees to find co-workers that live near them.
- Encourage biking and walking to work by providing bike racks outside of the office.
- Provide parking incentives such as closer/shaded parking spots for carpoolers. Think about encouraging Electric Vehicles and offer to put in a charging station/s
- Allow employees to work from home one day a week.
- Maybe a four day workweek, four 10-hour days instead of five eight-hour days?
- Driving 10 percent less, by walking, cycling, carpooling, or taking public transit, can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 0.2 to 0.8 tonnes per year, depending on the vehicle.
- Carbon dioxide is the number one contributor to the greenhouse effect, and cars produce about 30 percent of the nation’s carbon dioxide emissions.
3. Cut Paper Usage
Make hard copies only when necessary.
- View documents on your computer instead of printing them out.
- Reuse paper that only has printed material on one side.
- Set all printers and copiers to double sided printing.
When buying paper:
- Buy recycled paper made from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
- Use unbleached and uncolored paper. If you need to use colored paper, use pastel colors.
Make sure employees have bins to recycle paper at their desk.
- According to the Environmental Protection Agency, each employee in a typical business office generates 1.5 pounds of waste paper per day
- A ton of 100 percent recycled paper saves the equivalent of 4,100 kWh of energy, 7,000 gallons of water, 60 pounds of air emissions, and three cubic yards of landfill space.
4. Manage Machine Usage
- Turn the machines off when you leave the office for the night
- Activate sleep mode for printers, copiers and fax machines so they’ll sense inactive periods
When purchasing new office equipment, look for ENERGY STAR qualified products to cut down energy use and pollution. Start an E-recycling drop box for old cell phones, cameras, camcorders, cordless phones, MP3 players, etc..
- If every U.S. computer and monitor were turned off at night, the nation could shut down eight large power stations and avoid emitting 7 million tons of CO2 every year.
5. Controlling the Temperature
Heating, cooling and powering office space are responsible for almost 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and more than 70 percent of total electricity usage. You can save about 10 percent on your electricity bill by just adjusting that thermostat by one or two degrees. Other ideas:
- Use automatic setback thermostats to adjust the temperature for weekends and evenings.
- Keep the blinds closed to conserve heat in winter and keep it out during summer.
- Heating, cooling and ventilation accounts for 39 percent of the energy use in a typical office.
- An adjustment of only a degree or two can cut heating or cooling bills by two to three percent. Extending that to three or four degrees can produce savings of 10 percent or more.
Also find an agency to set up an E-recycling drop box for old cell phones, cameras, camcorders, cordless phones, MP3 players, etc.. and even
6. Eliminate Coffee Vending Machine and it’s Waste
Get rid of the coffee vending machine and make your own coffee. Also use a glass coffee instead of all of those styrofoam and paper cups. Coffee-making vending machines may save you some time and maybe even save you from caffeine-withdrawal headaches in the morning, but they don’t help out the environment. If you must use a vending machine and it dispenses its own cups, make sure they are recyclable.
This list could go on and on, let us and our viewers know what Green Tips you have from your office!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Creator/Host of Go Green America TV
Jeff (Jf) Davis aka The Go Green Guy is from Maine
Moved to LA to follow his passion as an actor
these days he is still acting, lives in LA with his wife and two boys
an writes about Green Living for his website Go Green America TV
that will soon be a TV show!!