A greener workplace does not mean spending a lot of money or making things harder for employees. In fact, many green choices can save the company money while also creating a healthier and more productive place to work.
How do you like your Coffee? Replace the office coffee with a fair-trade, shade-grown or organic version. Fair-trade coffees are produced and purchased from farmers with livable wages for both themselves and their employees. Shade-grown coffee has been grown under the canopy of trees, which means that rain forests were not cut down to create room to grow the coffee beans. Organic coffees are grown without treatment from toxic pesticides and herbicides, lowering both the consumers' and the earth's exposure to toxins.
Don’t be Disposable Use your own washable and reusable mug instead of using paper cups for water, tea, and coffee. An office of 15 people replacing each individual’s three paper cups a day with a washable, reusable mug would save 11,250 paper cups from being purchased and tossed each year.
Save that Energy Why waste electricity and energy when you don’t have to? Use the energy-saver settings on electronics and set computers to go into sleep mode if untouched for 10 or 15 minutes. Power down printers, fax machines and computers at the end of the day. Prevent unnecessarily lighting of empty rooms by using motion sensors or timers on overhead lighting. Run the air conditioning and heating a little less. During the winter, set the temperature to no higher than 68 degrees Fahrenheit and no lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. This act alone can save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
Save the Paper Go paperless as much as possible. Do not print an email if you don't have to: instead, archive and save it. Send contracts via email and electronically sign them if possible rathen than printing and faxing. When you do use paper, use 100% recycled paper and print on both sides. Recycled paper uses post consumer waste and recycles it into paper to conserve resources and make use of materials that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill.
Green Supplies Purchase eco-friendly office supplies. There are many retailers such as Green Apple Supply that offer green options for all your office supplies.
Recycle It Provide recycling bins for paper, plastic, metal, ink cartridges and even batteries.
Detox the Office Many of the toxins we are exposed to regularly come from the toxic cleaners sold to clean, sanitize and deodorize homes and businesses. Prevent further exposure by using eco-friendly products to clean the office. There are many effective and affordable non-toxic, green cleaners on the market today.