Going Green at Work

Did you know that Americans make up only 5% of the world’s population but yet we consume 20% of the world’s energy and produce 40% of the world’s waste? Although we have a long way to go, efforts are being made to become a greener nation and move toward a model of sustainability. We can see the impact of the green movement when we look at waste production. The U.S. currently recycles 32.5% of its waste, compared with about 5% in 1970. Much of the green movement has been geared toward reducing carbon footprints at home, but what about in the workplace? Americans working 40 hour workweeks spend 32% of their waking hours at their workplace. Here are some low-cost, no-cost ways you and your colleagues can reduce your carbon footprint at work.
• Create a “green team”. Recruit a group of colleagues who can lead your organizations green mission.
• Make it a point to be the last person out of the room so you can ensure the lights are turned off.
• Develop the habit of turning off your computer, and the power strip it’s plugged into, when you leave for the day.
• Decorate your office with plants. They produce oxygen and offset the VOC’s and CO2 emissions, improving overall air quality.
• Save money and reduce waste by conserving paper in the following ways:
* Keep your printing to a minimum, instead of printing documents and emails save them electronically.
* Choose emailing instead of faxing when an option.
* Make it a policy to post employee documents online, rather than distributing print copies.
* When it is necessary to print, maximize the papers use by using two-sided printing and utilizing the backside of old documents as scrap paper.
*To reduce mail, call to have your company removed from mailing lists or opt for electronic delivery.
o Always buy recycled paper.
o To make recycling easier ensure there are paper recycling bins close to desks, printers and waste receptacles.
• Reduce food and beverage container waste by bringing your lunch and beverages to work in reusable containers and stock your office’s kitchen with reusable dishes and drinkware.
• Carpool, bike or utilize public transportation to get to work.

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