1. Save Trees by Going Virtual
Design a website for your business, and do away with brochures and catalogs. People can learn all they need to know about you via your paperless website. Avoid printing out emails, and flag or file them for easy access in your inbox instead. Switch to online banking for your financial needs. This means no more bills or statements via snail mail. Slice your paper usage in half by setting your printer to print double sided.
2. Telecommute via your computer
Why travel to an office to sit behind a desk and use your computer? You can do this from your home and cut down your carbon emissions. Consider ditching the office scene entirely if it’s a possibility in your line of work. You can tend to business via email, phone calls and video conferencing. Telecommuting will also do wonders for your sanity. Forgoing stressful business trips and rush hour commutes will leave you time to do the things you enjoy, while helping you leave a lighter footprint. If it’s impossible to telecommute, set up carpools, and consider letting employees work from home two days a week.
3. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Set up recycling stations throughout your office, next to copiers, printers and fax machines to encourage paper recycling, and in the kitchen or lunch room for everything from plastics to aluminum cans. Paper may also be reused for message and memo pads. Encourage employees to keep a reusable coffee mug and a reusable water bottle at their desk, so they won’t be wasting paper cups each time they fuel up.
4. Get Your Caffeine Buzz with Fair Trade Coffee
Coffee is a staple in every office environment, and imagine the impact it would have if every office worldwide was stocked with Fair Trade Coffee. Coffee farmers are in dire need of fair wages and labor practices, and helping them one cup of joe at a time will make a huge difference in their plight.
5. Clear the Air
Regularly open windows, yes, even during the winter time, to rid your work environment of pollutants and toxins. Ventilation and the circulation of fresh air will help eradicate germs, which means less sick days and more productivity. Hire a green cleaning company and switch to using all eco-friendly cleaning products. Speaking of windows, optimize them to save energy. Opt for outdoor air over air conditioning when possible, and make use of natural light streaming in windows over switching on the lights.
6. Power Down
Don’t keep office equipment humming when it’s not in use. Make sure everyone shuts down their computers, and turns of their fax machines, printers and copy machines every night. Invest in smart power strips which will halt power usage when machines are turned off. Ridding your office of phantom power usage will help the earth, while saving money on energy bills. Consider investing in a Kill-A-Watt power meter which will tell you exactly how much energy you are using for each electronic appliance you own. Afterall, knowledge = power!
7. Stop Junk Mail and Faxes
Take a moment to call the companies which are wasting your time and your paper, and tell them to take you off of their mailing lists. This will help save trees, office resources and energy.