We all know better. The paper should be recycled. Plastic bottles don’t belong in the garbage. Most offices have blue bins and sometimes we remember to use them. Given the huge volume of garbage produced in the US each year (according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about 254 million tons of trash), we need to be better. Here are a few tips to help you make your office greener.
Cut Down on Paper
Reduce printing and paper costs and make it easier to make changes and updates to forms with online forms. Most of the time it’s not necessary to print out emails and fax transmissions can be sent as pdfs directly from your computer. When printing a document is unavoidable, print double-sided copies on recycled paper.
Paper plates and plastic cups? Replace disposables with real plates, cups and cutlery. Buy in bulk and avoid excess packaging for products like toilet paper, and trash bags.
Purchase environmentally friendly alternatives for cleaning supplies, soaps, lotions, batteries, light bulbs, and copier toner. Establish a food waste collection strategy so scraps can be composted rather than tossed in the trash.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
Bike racks, employee transit passes, and ride-sharing are all ways to reduce emissions during daily commutes. If possible, reduce the number and distance of trips taken to attend conferences and off-site meetings. Teleconferencing options are become more common: take advantage of them whenever you can.
Unplug and Save
Reduce energy waste by unplugging computers, copiers, and printers. Even when turned off, machines consume power than you think when they are in standby mode.
Use Motion Sensors and Natural Light
Well-designed office spaces with big windows reduce the need for artificial lighting. Where lights are necessary, consider motion detectors so spaces are only lit when occupied.
Watch the Thermostat
Don’t be too quick to crank up the heat. Throw on a sweater or cardigan during the winter and during the summer, keep an eye on the central air conditioning. Setting the temperature a couple of degrees lower in winter and higher in summer still keeps everyone comfortable but the cost savings can be significant.
Yes, there are lots of things we can all do to make our office spaces greener.
For assistance with medical waste management, disposal and compliance, contact the experts at enviromerica.com for a consultation.