Making More of Earth Day: How You Can Go Greener
Making More of Earth Day: How You Can "Go Greener"
May 4, 2016
Every year as Earth Day rolls around, it's a reminder to prioritize greener living. You can bring that sense of environmental consciousness to your work place by choosing products with green attributes, cutting back on power usage, and making recycling the norm in your office. Take a look at these Earth Day tips for hints on how to go greener.
Get to Work Efficiently
One way to “go greener” is switching your mode of transportation to work. If you live in an area with a reliable train, trolley or bus system, then taking public transportation is a great eco-conscious way to get to work. Riding a bike is also an option you may want to consider. If your office is nearby, why not take advantage of bike-friendly roadways? No matter which of these alternatives you choose, it’s easy to see how you could benefit from savings on car maintenance and gas.
If taking public transportation or biking to work is not an option where you live, then there are things you can do with your car to help you be greener. Car-pooling with co-workers, buying a fuel-efficient car and telecommuting a day or two a week are all ways to help reduce emissions. Making sure that your tire pressure is correct on a monthly basis can have up to a 3 percent mileage improvement on your car. To gain up to 15 percent improvement in mileage, change out your filters regularly. Keep in mind that the faster you drive — the more fuel guzzling your car does. Try staying at or below the speed limit to save on gas.
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Many of the things you use in your office never really go away. Even the trash that gets carried away ends up in a landfill. Recycling cuts back on the materials headed for landfills, and it also saves on the energy used to manufacture new products. Set up recycling bins in your break room, and encourage your co-workers to sort their cans, bottles and plastic rather than dumping in the trash. Your copy room could use a recycling bin for paper. Many offices even hand out double wastebaskets to each cubicle or desk, so you can drop used paper products directly into the recycling bin. Recycle printer cartridges to keep their chemicals out of landfills. It is also good to buy recycled paper to use in the office.
Choose Green Materials and Supplies
Go green in your office or workplace by replacing the materials and products you use every day with greener choices. Biodegradable soaps in the company restrooms and biodegradable cleaners for the janitorial staff go a long way toward making your workplace eco-conscious. Switch to compact fluorescent or LED lights throughout your office, or just fling open the blinds to take advantage of the natural light streaming in from the outside.
Bring Back the Water Cooler and the Lunchroom
Even if the bottled water your office provides comes in bottles made of recycled materials, the bottles themselves are plastic ultimately destined for the landfill. Bring back the old-school water cooler to make sure everyone has access to clean, refreshing water, and see if it doesn't encourage camaraderie around the office as well. Encourage co-workers to bring lunch to the office in washable containers rather than ordering takeout or delivery every day, and make your lunchroom a pleasant place to hang out.
Minimize Energy Use
In the best of all possible worlds, your office building would run on solar power or other renewable energy. If that's not possible, you can still do a lot to reduce your company's demand for energy. Plug lights, chargers, computers and other hardware into smart power strips that notice when your TV, computer or other electronic device goes into standby mode. The power strip then shuts off power, saving you the power drain caused by keeping appliances ready for use when no one's even in the office. You can also encourage your co-workers to shut their computers down fully at night, unplug peripherals that they're not using and turn off lights when possible.
The great thing about going greener is that you can do it a little at a time. Pick a few of the best options to help your office become a greener, environmentally conscious workplace.
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