The environment is on mostly everyone’s mind these days. The changes that you make to help our environment don’t have to be massive changes. There are many small things that you can do to help out and make a difference in your office every day.

  1. Turn off all electronics and lights overnight. This can waste so much energy. Not only will this reduce the amount of energy that is used in your office, it will also reduce utility costs for your office!
  2. Recycle. We’re not just talking paper here – many people will bring cans or bottles of pop or water, cans of soup, etc. to work for lunch. You can also recycle computers, but you probably want to be certain that all sensitive data has been completely removed from your computer before recycling it.
  3. Only print out what you need to. Send memos, meeting minutes and meeting agendas by e-mail instead of printing them out and distributing them.
  4. Use both sides of paper. If you can, print on both sides of the paper. Personally, I normally keep a stack of paper that I’ve printed on beside my desk as scrap paper.
  5. Buy used office furniture and electronics. You can easily find gently used furniture and electronics – especially with our economy is as it is right now, so many businesses are suffering and closing, and selling their own office equipment.
  6. Change the way you travel to work. Take the bus or subway; ride your bike. Carpool if you live near someone who works with you. Telecommute when possible. This also goes for meetings – video conference or conference call when you can, instead of traveling to visit someone.
  7. Get a programmable thermostat. This allows you to turn down the heat (or up the air conditioning) over night.
  8. Have a real plant at your desk. Living plants help reduce air pollution.
  9. Buy office supplies that are (at least partially) made of recycled materials as much as you can. This goes for everything from paper to binders.
  10. Invest in actual dishes and utensils. Instead of Styrofoam or plastic cups, utensils and plates that will only be thrown out after being in use once, buy actual dishes and utensils that can be washed and used again.