Take simple steps to start going green at the office

At home, many of us have taken steps to become more environmentally friendly, such as carrying reusable grocery bags and switching to more energy-efficient light bulbs. When it comes to carrying that same green ethic into the workplace, it’s easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of taking on such a large project.

However, going green at the office can be a simple process to start and involves many of the same simple steps you take at home. Borrow a few of these ideas and take the first steps to turning your workplace into an eco-friendly oasis:
  • Buy plants. Plants not only brighten up the office, but also improve the quality of the air in your building. There a wide variety of plants that can flourish indoors. Talk to your local nursery about plants that would work best in your office.

  • Only print when necessary. Paper is one of the most wasted items in the workplace. When you want to print something, ask yourself if it is absolutely necessary to have a hard copy.

  • Print with eco-friendly ink. Soy-based toners offer an environmentally friendly alternative to the petroleum-based options. Using soy-based ink also increases the recyclability of paper, so that when you have to print, you know you’re doing it in the ‘greenest’ way possible.

  • Purchase recycled office products. From printer paper to the labor law posters along the walls, do your research and find the best recycled products on the market.

  • Consider using electronic forms. The recent changes to the Form I-9 turned into a green disaster after hundreds of companies threw out out stacks of old forms, only to be told to start using them again. Electronic forms allow you to print out the documents you need, only when you need them. No more wasted stacks of unused forms the next time laws change.

  • Turn it off. Turning off the lights when you leave a room is a simple way to make a positive impact on your energy costs. Take it a step further by shutting down your computer and switching appliances off when you leave the office at the end of the day.

  • Buy reusable utensils. Instead of going through boxes and boxes of plastic utensils every month, ask employees to bring their own from home or invest in a set of inexpensive silverware for the office. Switching to the real thing will not only reduce waste, but will also save you money.

With more organizations and manufacturers jumping on the ‘green’ bandwagon, creating a more environmentally friendly workplace is easier than ever before. With a little bit of creativity, going green in the office can be easy and fun.

Have any more ideas for going green at work? Leave a comment and let us know.

Read these related posts for more ideas:

HR survey reveals top green business practices

Commuter benefits a growing business trend

Want happy employees? Promote public transportation

Recycle your way to a ‘green’ workplace

Going green at the office? Start with your printers

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