Going Green in the Office

Posted on February 8, 2013 by Aaron

Going Green in the Office

Humans have a knack for overusing and abusing the planet’s natural resources. Don’t beat yourself up; it’s a natural instinct of ours. However, we can combat our sense of self-entitlement which leads to an increased carbon footprint. If we make the conscious decision to no longer be a wasteful people, we can implement simple sustainable techniques and practices into our daily lives.

Converting your office into an eco-friendly and energy-efficient space will increase productivity in your workspace while reducing your company’s carbon footprint. While it might seem difficult to make your office green, it doesn’t take much to make your office energy and resource efficient. The following tips and suggestions will help guide you to creating an environmentally-friendly office space.

Create a Recycling Program

The number of offices that don’t currently recycle is unfathomable. Your office uses more products that can be recycled than you are even aware of. If you don’t already have one, create a recycling program in your office. This will make it easy for you and your co-workers to recycle with relative ease. All you need are a few bins and to post recycling guidelines above each bin to help your co-workers make mindless decisions while making your office greener. Here are some labels to consider:

  • Plastics
  • Cans and Bottles
  • Paper products
  • Cardboard
  • Ink cartridges

Energy-Efficient Lighting

With artificial lighting accounting for over 40 percent of energy use in the office, it’s important to limit your office usage as much as possible. Purchasing Energy Star-rated light bulbs and fixtures is a great first step toward eco-friendly lighting. These bulbs use 20 percent less energy than traditional lighting options, saving you in the long run. When used with timers or motion sensors that automatically shut your lights off when they aren’t needed, you will significantly reduce your office’s greenhouse emissions.

When you’re the last to leave a room, turn the lights off behind you, even if you’re only stepping out of your office for a few minutes. If you’re not in your office, there’s no need for you to illuminate the unoccupied room.

Shutting Devices Down

Many people don’t think about this when they leave the office for the day, but your office computers and various electronics are huge energy-wasters when left plugged in overnight. Try to make a habit of turning all of your electronics off, along with the power strip they are plugged into, when it’s quitting time. I suggest creating a “to-do” list where you write down every electronic in your office that you will then power down and unplug at the end of the day. This will make it a nearly-effortless task to shut everything down. Even if you aren’t using these electronics, they are still drawing power from your electric sockets, causing you to burn energy (and money) when you leave things plugged in.

Go Digital

As basic and straightforward as it may seem, the greenest way to print is to not print at all. Many offices have transitioned to using nothing but recycled paper, but this still leaves behind a carbon footprint in your office. However, the more you do on your office computers, the less paper you will need, and subsequently, the smaller your office’s carbon footprint will be. There’s absolutely zero need to print out each and every document you receive. Keep files on your computer or take advantage of cloud computing instead of wasting immense amounts of paper in bulky file cabinets. If you don’t already use one, download a PDF converter to allow the members of your office to review documents on their computers without having to print a single page.

Where you get your energy from matters

The best way to transform your office into a green machine is to consider switching the type of energy your office receives. Certain options can be slightly more expensive, however, transitioning to wind or solar power is by far the best way to begin your green transformation. Numerous utility providers offer wind power as an energy option (generally at a slightly higher rate). Solar power will require a higher initial investment than switching to wind power, though the tax rebates you will receive for switching to solar will help you recoup your investment. Most companies that choose to install solar panels are able to make up the difference through the tax rebates and energy cost savings within five years.

 

Lance Trebesch is the CEO of TicketPrinting.com & Ticket River, which offers a variety of event products and ticketing services. After nineteen years of Silicon Valley experience, Lance found the key to happiness is helping customers worldwide beautify and monetize their events with brilliant print products and event services. Listening to his customers and learning about how they plan their events – ranging from concerts to fundraisers – has helped him gain insight and expertise on how to host a successful event that he is always eager to share.