Adopting more eco-friendly work habits — even when clocking in your hours at work — can be especially easy if your efforts include small changes that add up to green results.
There are many little things you can do around the office to stay green while earning your green.
Here’s a green checklist of 5 simple things you can do to help keep our planet a little healthier even when you’re busy at work.
#1 Bring your own cups, plates, and silverware.
Most workplaces have a ready stash of foam or paper cups, as well as plastic spoons, knives, forks, and other disposable supplies for office snacks and lunches.
However, if you bring your own cups, plates, and silverware to work (and wash them at the end of the day), you can avoid dipping into the office resources and reduce the need to refill the supply of disposable items.
#2 – Conserve the disposable dishware you do use.
If you find that bringing your own dishware to work is a pain — or you would rather not leave your personal cups, dishes, and utensils at the office — then take only 1 disposable cup from the office kitchen in the morning and designate it as the single cup you’ll use throughout the day for coffee, water, tea, or other drink of choice. Rinse the cup out in the sink between uses.
You can recycle in the same manner any plates, plastic utensils, and other disposable items you use while eating & drinking at work.
#3 – Reach for the bowl of sugar.
Need to add a little sugar to your morning cup of coffee? Reach for the sugar in the bowl (or canister) instead of using those convenient little sugar packets. It takes far more material to wrap a teaspoon of sugar in a handy-dandy packet than it does to package a larger quantity of sugar. The same goes for condiments of other varieties.
#4 – Make 2-sided copies and printouts.
It’s easy to click on the default settings on your computer when you’re printing, scanning, or copying a document.And many documents do need to be one-sided. However, whenever possible, you should try to make 2-sided copies instead. This not only helps to conserve paper, but some copiers and printers require less energy to produce 2-sided copies than 2 single-sided documents.
#5 – Turn off your computer at night.
If your office allows you to power down your computer when you leave each day, then by all means shut your equipment down right before you go home for the evening. This can save untold amounts of electricity over the course of a year!
As you can see, staying green at the office can be easily done by making a few simple adjustments in your daily workplace habits.
While you may feel like you’re the only one making an effort in adopting green office habits, remember that every little bit counts toward keeping our planet healthier. And, if your colleagues see you staying green at work, they may be inspired to follow your lead.
As an advocate for good health, I usually try to choose the 'greener' option over other more dangerous and/or wasteful options. Generally speaking, if it's bad for your health or the planet, I try to avoid it. In my effort to live green, I like to find new (healthier) budget-friendly ways to do things — from cleaning to recycling to home decorating. My goal is to help you take the chore out of living green by sharing fun new ecofriendly ideas that you can try today… or <em>any</em> day! My all-time favorite way to live green is to repurpose items and give them a new use — I've written a lot of useful DIY articles.