Green at Work: Small Ways to Make your Office more Eco-Friendly

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A laptop on a stump in the great outdoors. The green office at its most whimsical.

Concerned about your environmental impact at work? Trying to make a difference in any way you can? The good news is that going green at work is pretty similar to doing so at home.

Little things make all the difference, for both your power bill and your carbon footprint. Some are obvious, such as turning lights off if no one is using a room. Some require a little more forethought.

In your break room:

Reusable flatware in the break room will keep thousands of plastic utensils out of landfills annually. You don’t realize how many you throw away until you stop. The same goes for reusable beverage cups at the water cooler and coffee pot. Single use items are unnecessary and wasteful in 99% of cases.

Take a look at your drinks and snacks. Are they organic? Locally sourced? Do you buy fair trade products when available? Does your office have a traditional style multi-cup coffee maker, or did you buy a Keurig? What you eat and drink and how it’s prepared can have a huge impact on your carbon footprint.

Let’s not forget cleaning. Many things in the break room or restrooms can be cleaned with simple hot water, baking soda, or white vinegar. For those that can’t, there are also eco-friendly versions of cleaning products which are made with plant-based chemicals and come in concentrated form with reusable bottles. And of course, paper towels and plastic scrubbers can be replaced with old-fashioned cloth towels for cleaning.

At your desk:

Take a look at your office supplies. Are they as green as they could be? Recycled paper, non-toxic highlighters, and refillable ink cartridges are all easy to find and much kinder to the environment than their traditional counterparts.

Is your office documentation paperless? If not, can you reduce your reliance on paper in any way? Fewer hard copies means less impact on the environment, less to shred for confidentiality reason, and less to pay your waste management company to remove.

During your commute:

Can you or your employees work from home? Telecommuting saves you on time, money, gas, carbon waste, and stress. Any time an employee can work from home, they reduce not only their own stress, but that of our already overburdened planet. If they can’t telecommute, can they carpool or use public transit? Perhaps ride a bike? Driving everywhere in a single occupancy vehicle has a far greater impact on the environment than any of the many alternatives available. The office that’s most green is not an office at all, but everyone working together from where they are.

E-waste, the elephant in the room:

And of course, the biggest one. An office that throws out its e-waste instead of recycling it responsibly will never be green. E-waste is a huge chunk of the solid waste generated each year, and it grows exponentially. For every new piece of office tech, you need to ask a few questions. Are all of the devices you purchase needed? If you do you replace, you should have a solid plan for disposal. Is it new enough for re-use? If it’s too old to re-use, then how do you recycle it? Luckily for you, E-Waste Assassin is here. Call us today to help keep all of your old tech out of the landfill and your office as green as can be.

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