TOP 10 WAYS TO GREEN YOUR OFFICE
- Use reusable cups, mugs, or bottles. Give your employees a mug or reusable water bottle with the company logo for their first day, a holiday or any occasion. At Broadway Cares we use concessions’ plastic cups from closed shows, placed at the water cooler, instead of plastic or paper cups.
- Buy recycled paper. Start buying 100% post-consumer recycled paper for your office. It now works just as well as any paper in printers and for all uses. Every office supply company now offers 100% recycled paper – many are post-consumer recycled. At the very least, avoid paper products made from 100% virgin fiber content, and switch to paper that is at least 30 percent post-consumer content.
- Ditch plastics. Use washable plates and silverware instead of paper plates and plastic utensils. It saves money too. If you cannot wash dishes at your office then at least purchase recycled service-ware or those made of bagasse (which is the residue from sugar cane production), or corn starch – both widely available at stores and online.
- Print double-sided. Mandate double-sided printing and explore paperless options. Change the default setting on all of your printers to double-sided printing and you will save reams of paper. Single-sided printing can easily be checked if needed for a particular use.
- Set computers to sleep and hibernate. Enable the “sleep mode” feature on your computer, allowing it to use less power during periods of inactivity. In Windows, the power management settings are found on your control panel. Mac users, look for energy saving settings under system preferences in the apple menu. Configure your computer to “hibernate” automatically after 30 minutes or so of inactivity. The “hibernate mode” turns the computer off in a way that doesn’t require you to reload everything when you switch it back on. Allowing your computer to hibernate saves energy and is more time-efficient than shutting down and restarting your computer from scratch. When you’re done for the day, shut down. And don’t forget to turn off the screensavers on your computers—you don’t need them to protect your screen, and they use more energy than just leaving your computer idle. You can also turn down the backlighting on your computer screen to save energy even while it’s in use (look at the top of your keyboard or under program settings for both Macs and PCs).
- Turn everything off at the end of the day. Turn off all lights and mandate that all computers and printers be turned off at the end of the work day. Think of how much electricity you will save.
- Encourage the use of public transit through TransitChek (transitchek.com) or other programs. Employees use pre-tax deductions to pay for their commute, reducing their taxable income. The more pre-tax deductions that are made, the more employers decrease their payroll taxes. Everyone wins.
- Get greener energy. Have your office inquire with your energy provider about buying into an energy portfolio consisting of energy from renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydro. Con Ed offers this option.
- Recycle better. Check with your building’s trash hauler about separating out white paper and other materials for better-quality recycled material in the end. The trash hauler makes more money from these and is therefore eager to help your office do this. Most trash haulers are pulling recyclables out of the trash they collect in a materials recovery facility after collection. This is called post-collection sorting. Make sure your hauler is doing this.
- Buy energy-efficient office equipment. Energy Star-rated equipment is an option at work as well as at home. Energy Star equipment has power management features that allow it to reduce its power use or turn itself off when not in use. According to the EPA, Energy Star-labeled equipment can save up to 75 percent of total electricity use.
AND ALWAYS PARTICIPATE IN THE BGA’S RECYCLING COLLECTION DRIVES!