How to Go Green at Work

The best part of the “green” movement is that it doesn’t just stop at what we do at home. Going green means that we try to put in effort everywhere we go, including (and especially) work.

We spend a large majority of our lives working or attending school during the day and there are so many opportunities to go green while we’re there. Although many companies have started to adapt green policies and initiatives, others may be completely left in the dark.

The truth is, the best way to influence your company to be eco-friendly is to be a good example for everyone else.

Here are some simple ways to go green at work:

Take your Lunch to Work.
Not only will this save you tons of money every year, but it will also keep you healthy
and contribute to a healthy planet. Put your lunch in a reusable container that you can continually wash, as well as a reusable lunch bag instead of a plastic or paper sack.

Prioritize your Paper Use.
Although printers and buying paper in bulk have always been the norm in office life,
things are beginning (and should continue) to change. So what are some great ways
to cut down on your paper usage? Start saving important documents in computer
files or an external hard drive. See if your company has direct deposit available.
Try to get the amount of mail that you receive cut down as much as possible.

Create Clean Air.
Clear the air in your office by using non-toxic cleaning products (or suggesting
their use to the maintenance staff), by bringing in a plant, making a commitment
to never bring an aerosol container to work, or by suggesting to schedule an air duct cleaning for the building. It’s also important to note that indoor air quality will never be as great as breathing in fresh air, so be sure to occasionally step out for a few minutes each day.

Travel Green
Cars are the realistic transportation possibility for the typical American (especially for those of us who live in Dallas.) But if you live in an area where there are more options available to you, such as riding the bus, subway, or catching a shared cab, then you should take advantage of it. Plus, who wants to sit in rush hour traffic anyway?

Green Up your Electronics
Your computer at work (or at home) can use up a lot of electricity. Save some energy by taking the effort to shut down your computer each and every night that you leave work. It would also be beneficial to change your computer’s settings to energy-saving settings. Examples of energy-saving settings would be to have your monitor turn off automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity, or your system to go on standby after 30 minutes.

Going green can be contagious. Tell all your co-workers and friends what you’re doing to be more eco-friendly. If they’re curious, they just might want to join you.

Do you have any other tips to go green at work? I would love to read them in the comments section below.

Image via Smithsonian Institution

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3 thoughts on “How to Go Green at Work

  1. Excellent post. We always look to establish a green workplace and encourage the above points. Turning all our electronics green is a task however. Nevertheless, thanks for the insight on green working and green cleaning.

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