Following are some quick tips on a few things you can easily do around the office to reduce your carbon footprint and help make a positive impact on the environment.
According to the Environmental Paper Network, if U.S. office paper usage was cut by just 10 percent, it would prevent the emission of 1.6 million tons of greenhouse gases. That’s the equivalent of taking 280,000 cars off the road. Relying more on digital technologies for many of your office paper activities, such as memos, newsletters, file storage and snail mail can greatly reduce your company’s impact on the environment.
Establish recycling protocols
For every ton of paper that is recycled, 17 trees, 60,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 225 kilowatt hours are saved. Make recycling a company policy and place recycling bins in easily accessible areas throughout your building. And, be sure to discuss with your employees what items can and cannot be recycled.
Shut it down
When you are away from your desk for extended periods of time or when you leave in the evening, take a few extra seconds to turn off lights, shut down computers or put them in sleep mode and turn off any other non-essential machines around the office. The Energy Information Administration estimates the annual energy costs for U.S. commercial and industrial buildings to be $202.3 billion. So, remembering to shut them down not only reduces energy usage, but it also helps save money.
Use green materials throughout the office
From recycled copy paper to reusable cups, take a look at the things you use everyday to see if there is a suitable green alternative. You’d be surprised how many of the things we use around the office that can be substituted with environmentally friendly options. It’s also a good idea to incorporate Energy Star rated office machines into your business. It’s probably not cost efficient to replace them all at once, but as your copiers, printers and break room appliances reach the end of their useful life, consider more earth-friendly replacements.
Carpool to work
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, only about one in 10 people carpool to work each day. To help make a positive impact on the environment – and your wallet – consider implementing a carpooling program in your office. Sharing a ride to work not only helps you reduce your carbon footprint and save money on gas, but it’s also a great way for coworkers to build stronger working relationships.