Prep for Earth Day: Go green at work!

A greener workplace not only means a lighter ecological footprint, it’s also a healthier and more productive place to work, and with Earth Day just around the corner, there’s no better time to take action.

When people normally think about going green, they usually think about what changes they can make at home, but considering most of us spend the working week in the office, changes need to be made there too.

For the business that is thinking about going green, there are a number of reasons to take action, and these green ideas don’t necessarily mean spending a lot of money – in fact, you could end up saving money.

Every business is different and they can all do their bit for the planet in their own ways, but whatever industry you’re in, the reasons for change remain the same. The benefits to the environment are huge. The impact we have on our planet is no secret and any change in our daily behaviors, such as reducing energy consumption or thinking more about energy saving incentives, will have a direct effect on the preservation of our world.

By switching to energy-saving processes and being smart about what energy we use, businesses big and small can see savings, whilst saving the planet at the same time. Whether you’re a business owner or a staff member who wants to use their initiative to pitch new ideas, there has never been a more appropriate time to go green. Its value is recognized more so than ever before. If you’re still not convinced then why not check out twenty five big-name companies who have taken the plunge and gone green?

So bring your eco-values to work every morning with these tips:

Print1. Go green with your printer. Did you know that the average US office worker uses 10,000 pieces of paper a year? Collectively, that’s 4 million tons of copy paper used in one year in the U.S. alone! When it comes to today’s digital era, it’s becoming increasingly easier to skip paper entirely, but if you have to print, make sure you are using eco-friendly paper. You can invest in a double sided-printer, with recyclable, eco-friendly cartridges, and provide multitude recycling bins around the office so employees aren’t tempted to dump paper in general waste bins.

2. Go green with your electricity. Computers in the business sector unnecessarily waste $1 billion worth of electricity a year so switch computers off when not in use. Even switching a monitor off over your lunch break prevents excessive heat build up in a room. Many devices have “standby” settings but did you know they still draw power? Sometimes as much as 15 or 20 watts — even when they’re turned off. To make sure that your computer, printer, photocopy machine, television, etc. are definitely off, just pull the plug before heading out the door.

3. Go green with your cleaning. Create a healthy office environment by using biodegradable cleaners. Using natural, biodegradable cleaning products reduces your exposure to harsh toxins and other chemicals, and reduces the introduction of these substances into the environment. The next time you run out of soap, swap in a greener option. There are so many products available in stores these days there’s no excuse.

4. Go green with your lighting. Turn off lighting when you leave your office for meetings. Energy-saving is important, but the benefit gained from establishing a good habit and the message it sends is even more important. Not only is natural daylight a free source of lighting for the office, it has been proven to improve worker productivity and satisfaction.

5. Go green with your glassware. More than 50 billion plastic water bottles are sold annually in the U.S. – and on  average, only 23% of them are being recycled. Save resources and money by drinking from the tap using reusable glassware instead of paper cups.

Bicycle6. Go green with your transportation. Walking, biking or catching the bus are the best ways to commute sustainably, but if commuting by car is the only option, inflate your car tires, drive slower, and combine trips with colleagues to help you save gas when driving is necessary.

7. Go green with your supplies. Switch to reusable pens with refills, LED bulbs and reuse packaging supplies. Not only will this prevent you from having as much waste, but it’s also likely to save you money.

8. Green your team. Support each other and form a sustainability team! Appoint a few employees to make sure coworkers are doing their bit for the environment.

It doesn’t matter where you work, whether it’s a shop, an office, or a factory, taking care of the environment is easier than you think. Create a greener workplace and see the results – a healthier and more productive place to work, a lighter ecological footprint, and increased staff morale.

Author bio: Eco2Greetings are an e-card business who strongly believe in sustainability and support one of the world’s longest established tree conservation organisation, American Forests, planting 10 trees for every e-card ordered.