SIMPLE STEPS TO GREEN YOUR OFFICE


A typical modern office

As you move towards a greener lifestyle, don’t forget to green your office whether you work from home or away!

  • When possible, use energy star equipment – computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, coffee makers, etc. – for maximum energy efficiency.
  • Recycle print cartridges at office supply stores and use soy ink cartridges, which require less oil to manufacture and emit fewer air pollutants.
  • Keep your screen saver blank instead of the energy hogging, hypnotic graphics ones.  They aren’t good for our eyes anyway!
  • Paper copies are less important these days, but if you do have to print something, print on both sides of the paper – most printers have a 2-sided property – and use recycled paper.  Also, set your printer to economy mode or eco-tone.  Most new printers have this setting, which uses less ink.
  • If your office is not already recycling used paper, set up a recycling center (for cans, bottles and plastic too) and organize a weekly or monthly pick up from a local recycling company. Or reuse unwanted paper for scrap paper.
  • For interoffice memos, use email rather than paper.  Most offices already do that and even email is becoming antiquated with facebook messaging, google chatting and texting!
  • In your office kitchen, install a water filter system instead of using individual water bottles or big plastic water containers.
  • The average American goes through 500 disposable cups every year, so use ceramic mugs, not polystyrene (Styrofoam®) or plastic cups for coffee or water. Use real spoons instead of plastic stirrers. Set up a recycling center in the kitchen too.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with longer lasting, energy efficient CFLs (compact fluorescents) or LED bulbs.
  • Clean your office with green cleaning supplies.
  • Reuse old packaging materials for shipping.
  • Houseplants are effective air cleaners, removing indoor air pollutants.  Place several plants near your printers, fax and photocopiers. They add beauty and tranquility as well.
  • When remodeling your office, use natural materials for furniture and carpet and low VOC paints instead of man-made laminates,  synthetic materials and conventional paints that outgas toxins.
  • When possible ride public transportation, walk or carpool to work.

We spend most of our time at work, so setting up a green office is an important step to using less energy and leading a healthier lifestyle.  Remember, every little step helps!


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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by amy on January 16, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    i do alot of those things- yippee !!!!!!
    (maybe not soy cartridges!!!)

    Reply

  2. Breathing quality indoor air is critical for good health. Most Americans spend a significant amount of time indoors–either in the home, office or other types of buildings–where gas, chemical and other pollutants can cause headaches, eye irritation, allergies and fatigue. Serious pollutants can cause certain types of cancers and other long-term health complications.
    Indoor air quality is a critical public health issue that continues to be addressed at the local, state and federal levels.
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    Radon: A dangerous gas pollutant identified as the second leading cause of lung cancer, Radon enters homes through cracks and other improperly sealed openings.
    Combustion Pollutants including carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide: These gases come from burning materials or improperly vented fuel-burning appliances such as space heaters, wood stoves, gas stoves, water heaters, dryers and fireplaces.

    Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas which is not easily detectable by human senses, and interferes with oxygen delivery throughout the body. Carbon monoxide causes headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea; and toxic amounts can lead to death.

    Nitrogen dioxide, which is also a colorless and odorless gas causes eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, and increased risk for respiratory infections.
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