Many of us work hard to minimize our energy consumption at home. We replace lights, seal our leaks, and use area heaters to keep costs down. But what about when we’re away from home? The vast majority of Americans have at least one job, and many people have a second or third. So, do you keep the environment in mind when at work?
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Because conservation reins important at both home and the workplace, you should know a few tips that can help keep the office a nice shade of green. Practice these yourself and encourage others to do so as well. Believe it or not, but this may be the most important place to exercise your beliefs.
Number 1. Keep Down Electric Costs
The US Department of Energy has estimated that lighting accounts for about 30 percent of an office’s energy consumption, so this is a good place to start. First, if you’re the manager or business owner, be sure to invest in energy efficient lighting, appliances, and computers. Energy Star has a number of products they rate related to this, and you can access the link here.
If you’re an employee, show the boss you care about the business by using as much natural light as possible and turning off lights when you leave the room. Also, be sure to put your desktop to sleep and turn off any copy/fax machines at the end of the day.
Number 2. Recycling
Always be sure to recycle your papers! Office buildings go through trees like no other, so it’s important to bring consumption down to a respectable level. Use recycled paper for the printers and faxes (it looks just as good as is often easier to read off of) and be sure to recycle the waste you produce.
Be sure your cleaning crew actually recycles! Make it a point to tell them the company wishes to recycle, otherwise many just mix the bins. Remember, there are a lot of things we should be recycling!
Number 3. Ink and Toner
First, always be sure to recycle ink and toner boxes. These can be nasty little polluters, so make sure they get to the right place. Often Best Buy or Staples take old ink and toner boxes right in front. In addition, look into soy-based ink. It produces brighter and sharper colors, contains fewer volatile organic compounds, makes papers easier to recycle, and less is needed per print, saving you money over the long run.
Number 4. Transportation
Make some buddies at work at try to get a carpool together. If you don’t know anyone at work, use a carpool service. They’ll hook you up with others who work near you or even in the same building. If that doesn’t work and you’re close enough to your job, walk or bike in the morning to get a little exercise. Finally, public transportation is a cheap and easy way to get from point and to point b.
Number 5. Office Atmosphere
For one reason or another, it seems like all office buildings must be at 62 degrees, all year round. Walking into an office is sometimes like walking into a refrigerator, and that’s essentially what it is. Because of this, offices consume huge amounts of electricity. To lighten the load, bump up the thermostat a little closer to what’s outside. Also, install air economizers to pump in cool air outside when the temperature is around the same degrees.
In a similar vein, when having the cleaning crews come in and do their job, equip them with all natural cleaners with less harsh chemicals. This cleans your office just as good (if not better), but without leaving deadly remnants of chemicals behind.
A Brand New Office
Chances are, if you begin implementing these methods, the people in the office will notice and make change. Everyone wants to support the office and be a part of the team, so make it a point show how saving energy is a great way to contribute. Through these techniques, your office or business will be saving hundreds (if not thousands) of dollar per year.
Getting your business to go green means two things: better energy habits and more money in your pocket.