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Make Your Office a Little Greener

Make Your Office a Little Greener

By Curtis Cook, Intent

Forget blue collars and white collars. Workers of the world are going green. Small businesses and multinationals alike are reaping the financial and corporate benefits of environmental accountability. And, while corporate social responsibility policies grab the headlines, it is the individual actions of employees and employers that make the difference.

Here are some ways you can green your work environment:

1. If you are self-employed and work form home, simply extend your household efforts to recycle, save energy and reduce consumption to your home office.

Plug all your office equipment into a power bar and turn it off at the end of the day.
Switch to energy efficient lighting and try to use electronic communications as much as your business relationships allow.
Don’t forget to congratulate yourself on your entrepreneurial spirit and your reduced environmental footprint. By not driving to work and occupying additional office space, you are off to a great, green start.

2. Office workers can also green the business world by implementing some of the energy efficiency ideas above.

Carpooling and public transit not only cut vehicle emissions, they reduce traffic congestion and give you a break from behind the wheel.
“Brown-bagging” it (and re-using the bag) for lunch reduces the amount of food wrappers, plastic cutlery and drink containers in the office. There are many great re-usable, recyclable food containers on the market, as well as stainless steel containers for hot and cold drinks.
And don’t forget to bring your own coffee cup – it’s an opportunity to reveal your personal style.

3. Employers can be green leaders in the work world. The size of your business does not matter. Small businesses are the foundation of national economies and if everyone made a commitment to a greener operation, the cumulative effect would be staggering.

Install low-flow toilets in the washrooms when the time comes to renovate.
Subsidize bus passes for employees.
Install secure bicycle racks.
Consider motion activated lighting for Board rooms and offices.

4. Businesses and organizations can also encourage their customers and clients to think green at work. One of my former employers relied on meetings, conferences and seminars to deliver its services. On every e-mail sent, the following message was clearly visible: “Green your attendance at this event! Offset your contribution to greenhouse gases when you register. Your $15 will support reforestation or renewable energy projects that help offset the greenhouse gases generated by your travel.”

A green work environment does not increase your workload. It does increase workplace satisfaction and an employee’s sense of worth beyond the bottom line. More than ever, green is the color of business.

Get More 30 Days to a Greener You Ideas

Curtis Cook is the Executive Director of the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, President of Ecotactix and Founder of the Executive Centre for the Ecology Economy. He is a two-time book author and has written over 100 published articles on the environment, clean technologies, innovation and sustainable business.

Intent.com provides content and community for who you aspire to be–personally, socially and globally.

Read more: Do Good, Eco-friendly tips, Green, Life, Transportation, , ,

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16 comments

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6:50PM PST on Jan 15, 2011

Go vegan!

5:55AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

What do you do when you have a stubborn boss who won't go green :-S

6:51PM PDT on Aug 16, 2010

Yeah! I do many of these things and I encourage friends,
club members, acquaintances, and family too.

10:52PM PDT on Jun 23, 2010

I wish I had more control over making my office a greener place to work. I do my part by taking the bus every day with my employer-paid bus pass. My office is notorious for wasting paper by printing up one sentence memos (email would be so much better), but unfortunately, I have no control over it. After I read them, I tear them into four sections and use them as scrap paper before tossing them into the recycle bin. Rarely is my trash can ever used. I turn off my computer at the end of the day (It's required), and I bring my lunch in a reusable bag. I also bought a metal drink container, and fill it with ice and water daily. I'd like to get one that is insulated, because the one I have causes my ice to melt very quickly. I tend to drink more water when it's ice cold. At the end of the day, I usually have a lot of water left over, but I casually walk over to my coworker's desk and pour it into her plant! That way I don't feel that I'm wasting it! I've even considered buying my own plant for my desk so that I can keep it watered!

11:13AM PDT on Apr 4, 2010

Good article. Thanks!

7:59AM PDT on Aug 19, 2009

Great article. If you want to explore this further, there's loads of great tips on energy saving at work and home on the Energy Saving Trust website.

http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Energy-saving-products

The Energy Saving Trust is a non-profit organisation that provides free impartial advice to help fight climate change and save you money.

Happy energy saving!

Clare
Energy Saving Trust

11:22AM PDT on Aug 9, 2009

Help save the earth! Learn how to use Virtualization to help your company contribute.

These are facts! The polar ice caps are melting. The earths global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 C (1.33 ± 0.32 F) during the 100 years ending in 2005. According to a preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, The United States emitted 16.3% more Green house gas in 2005 than it did in 1990.

Humans have an impact on the emissions of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, ultimately affecting our planet. We each need to chip in and do our part to help.

So how can you help? It’s easy, and will make you look good in the process by utilizing consolidation and virtualization technologies to help you save the earth and save money! By consolidating your current infrastructure to faster processors and more RAM we can reduce the number of systems in your environment. When this consolidation is combined with utilizing virtualization in the design we can increase the utilization percentage of each system. In turn you will use less power, cooling, and space while reducing your licensing costs at the same time.

http://varinsic.com/SaveTheEarth/index.html

WHY Varinsic?
We are a dynamic Value Added Reseller offering customers an agnostic approach to solve complex business problems by integrating technology solutions.

shamun.mahmud@VARinsic.com

4:18AM PDT on Jun 14, 2009

thank you...
Kabin
Konteyner

9:31AM PDT on May 29, 2009

Has anyone tried skype for group conferences? I know it works one on one. Another tools to save driving time. Living in So. Calif anything to stay off the road is fine with me.

4:24PM PDT on May 15, 2009

Great tips. I would also add web conferencing instead of traveling to the other cities for in-person meetings. The very nature of web conferencing is eco-friendly, as there is no travel involved, but I'm personally impressed with one web conference provider in particular -- iLinc and its Green Meter that actually calculates the energy saving based on where each participant is in the world and how much carbon it would have emitted into the atmosphere if all of these people had traveled to facilitator's host city. It's worth a look. They have a demo you can watch and free trial you can get at http://www.ilinc.com.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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