Having an eco-friendly office can be very simple. It will eventually bring great savings for any company as it will cut down on waste and the conservation of resources will cut down on office expenses. This process does require teamwork. The implementation of “green” ideas provided by some federal institutions and eco-friendly advocates can be applied to most companies work practices. The following are some helpful ideas to bring an eco-friendly office into any company’s future!
Form a habit of turning off any equipment that is not being used. For instance, shutting down computers when they are not in use will eventually reduce the energy consumption of a business by up to 25 percent; doing this at the end of each work day will save an additional 50 percent. Turning off equipment can be easily accomplished by plugging all desk equipment into one power strip so that all devices can be turned off when leaving the area. With one device, all of the equipment that is plugged into that strip can be turned off.
Employees should be encouraged to communicate with e-mail and read the messages on the screen, printing only important messages. Utilize both sides of the paper when printing if possible and use paper with a high recycle content.
Reduce paper waste by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary; send important documents directly from the computer whenever possible to eliminate the necessity to print a hard copy.
Eliminate paper files by converting them into electronic files; this will reduce storage space, and make it easier to search for a document on the computer. This will certainly save a large amount of time than searching for a document in a filing cabinet.
If the budget allows, upgrading old equipment to newer models will increase energy efficiency. Replace old CRT monitors with LCD or LED monitors that are energy efficient and save on desk space.
A copier consumes more energy than any other piece of office equipment. Upgrading to a copier with duplexing capabilities and printing on both sides of the paper whenever possible will help cut down on energy usage as well as the usage of paper.
Be sure to shut off faucets securely and not leave any dripping. So much water is wasted this way that as little as one drop per second could add up to as much as 2,642 gallons per year.
Displacement toilet dams can be installed in the toilet water reservoirs that will displace about four liters of water every time the water release valve is open. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones in the tank will allow for a huge reduction in water usage per year as well.
Whenever possible, search for products and services that are more “green” within the local community, since supplies from a provider that is a considerable distance away will use more energy in transporting the product.
Before replacing any office items, be sure to initially consider if repairs can be done. When planning to purchase new furniture, see if the existing furniture can be refurbished; that would be less expensive than buying new.
Implementing an eco-friendly office should be done gradually so that it does not have too much of an effect on normal employee routines. Instead, small changes such as a reduction in the amount of power, water, paper, and other resources being consumed can really make an immediate difference in company expenses. Then working together to have an eco-friendly office can be in every company’s future!