Think Beyond the Big Box...

Saving the Planet in the Office

Our whole lives we’ve heard, “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” Use less paper, buy reusable grocery bags, and recycle plastic bottles. Those are obvious, well-known ways to help our planet, but what are other ways to keep our life-long home safe and clean, especially in the workplace?

Power Saver:

This one sounds pretty obvious. Put your computer on auto sleep mode so if you are away long enough then your computer won’t be wasting excess energy. When you go to lunch, you can put your computer to sleep, but it saves much more energy if you shut down your computer. If the purchasing department of the company allows it, get LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs. They last much longer and are well-known energy savers.

AC/Heater:

In the middle of the summer, it can be hard to turn down the AC. Having it on high is a very bad energy waster, though. It’s okay to have it on to a certain temperature, but it’s much more energy efficient to give employees small desk fans as they need them. As for the winter, you can also have some heat on so no one gets hypothermia and sues the company, but keep it a little lower and tell workers to bundle up if needed.

Carpool:

Some may think this is an awkward conversation to have with coworkers, but you’d be surprised how many people who live nearby would be willing to help save the environment (and money) by carpooling. Cars use many fuels that are harmful to the environment and even toxic to humans, animals, and plants. Decrease the amount of harm we place on our home by simply tag teaming with a few buddies.

Less Paper:

Computers may not be great energy savers themselves, but the sheer amount of paper used on a daily basis in the office is drastically worse. Many documents could be emailed and saved on a hard drive rather than printed out and stuffed in a filing cabinet. Plus, it can be a lot easier to sort and search for those documents digitally than by hand. As for to-do’s that we often put on sticky notes or paper pads, use a white board instead. Then you can simply erase it instead of throwing away many notes per day.

Spread the Word:

Many people have heard all of these suggestions, but they simply aren’t motivated to do something about it. When one person announces they are going to try and make a difference, it can spark a desire in others to do so as well. It’s a great way to find carpool buddies and an accountability partner or two. One person can make a difference in many lives, and in saving the world.

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