Paper and Printing ProductsAlmost all offices, whether they are small or large, rely on big quantities of paper. Here are tips to reduce how much paper is used in your workplace.
- Use both sides of a single sheet of paper, and cut down in half the paper rubbish the waste removal service has to take out from the office.
- Reuse or shred unwanted sheets of paper instead of tossing them out. The shredded sheets can be used as packing material, while other reusable documents can be used for handwritten memos.
- Reuse boxes. When shipments come in, save the boxes so they can be used again when you need to send a shipment.
- Offer paper recycling. Set up a paper recycling receptacle near each printer, fax machine, and copier so employees can place all unwanted sheets of paper in them. When doing this, discuss recycling with the cleaning crew, or else appoint someone to bring paper to the recycling center every week.
- Avoid colour printing, as it uses more ink than black and white printing.
- Print in draft mode and save more ink. The resulting print-out bears a lighter shade, but is still readable and clear.
- Buy paper wisely. Make it office policy to get only chlorine-free paper that has high recycled content percentage.
- Consider alternative paper. You might want to consider obtaining paper fashioned from bamboo, organic cotton, and hemp.
- Purchase recycled ink and toner. Cartridges that the waste removal service has to get from offices are a source of metal and plastic pileup in landfills, so make sure to get only refilled ink and toner to help in alleviating this burden.
TransportationYou might not consider your commute a part of the company’s ecological impact, but any implemented transportation policies will spell a huge difference for you. Encourage biking, telecommuting, as well as other green transport options through the following steps.
- Encourage your employees to bike or walk to work.
- Give bonuses for commuting green.
- Support alternative schedules. Let employees work longer hours on fewer days so they can stay at home for more days.
- Come up with a carpooling program that allows interested parties to connect with each other.
- Offer telecommuting as an option. If there are some tasks that employees can do at home, offer them the option of doing them at home.
- Encourage the use of efficient vehicles. If your company provides cars to employees, then consider getting hybrids. In addition, encourage the rental of hybrids or other efficient cars on business trips.
- Video conferences or webinars. When possible, try video conferencing instead of driving to meetings.
- Offer bike parking lots. By providing your employees a secure area where their bikes can be parked, this mode of transport will eventually become commonplace.
EquipmentThese are the tips to keep in mind during the purchase of equipment for the business.
- Purchase used furniture or remanufactured cubicles.
- Buy used printers, copiers, and fax machines, as getting new ones may contribute to waste in landfills. When doing this, make sure the used ones still work well and are energy efficient.
- Unplug equipment that aren’t in use.
- Recycle all electronic wastes instead of letting them be picked up by a waste removal service. By doing this, these electronic wastes don’t end up contributing to the high pile of rubbish in local landfills.
- Obtain high quality equipment. During equipment purchases, make sure to obtain something that lasts long and does not need to be tossed away sooner. This way, you won’t need to get new equipment and thus contribute to the pile of manufacturing waste.
ElectricitySmall changes in lighting, fixtures, and air conditioning spell a huge difference with how you consume energy. Follow the guidelines below, and you should be able to save your surroundings as well as your electrical bill.
- Use CFL bulbs. Compact fluorescent bulbs are more efficient. They also last a lot longer compared to traditional bulbs.
- Obtain electrical essentials from a green company.
- Switch off all equipment powered by electricity when they aren’t being used.
- Use natural lighting whenever possible. The entire office should be set in a way that allows for the entry of sunlight. Set up more skylights and windows!
- Purchase Energy Star fixtures, and save even more energy.
- Unplug all vending machines when the entire office will be out for holidays or on days without work.
ComputersComputers will always be big energy hogs. Here are ways to efficiently use computers.
- Unplug all computers when they don’t need to be used.
- Purchase units that last for several years.
- Purchase energy-efficient units.
- End the use of screen savers, as they still consume power and processing energy. Instead, set PC’s to sleep when not in use for a set time.
- Consider getting laptops over desktops, since the former doesn’t consume much energy.