It’s easy to be Green. Even with a limited budget its possible for companies to make a significant impact. Here are some cost-effective tips and tricks that can help you contribute to a more beautiful planet.
1. Use both sides of a piece of paper.
Even though this can sometimes be confusing -we have a tendency to load the printer backwards!- this is a great way to reduce waste, as well as distinguish drafted documents from final copies.
2. Donate used computer equipment.
Good businesses have to keep up with modern technology, which means there’s almost always old computer equipment lying around. Try to clean house ever six months – pack up old monitors, keyboards, mice, hard drives, and printer cartridges, and take a drive down to the local Goodwill or Salvation Army. You’ll be doing the less fortunate a favor, because used business equipment is usually in good shape, and if you’re a small business, you’ll free up much-needed space.
3. Turn off equipment when not in use.
Remember when your mom told you to turn off the light when you left the room? The adage applies to today’s business equipment as well: xerox machines, radios, monitors, and lamps, even when on “sleep,” waste precious energy. Remembering to turn them off at the end of the day will help the planet and your pocketbook.
4. For business projects, use recycled packaging. Additionally, create packaging that is easily recyclable.
Re-use yellow envelopes for internal communications. And don’t forget, recycled paper products are usually cheaper than unrecycled materials – and they usually look better.
5. Use simple cleaners: vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice.
Vinegar, baking soda, and lemon juice were good enough for our grandmothers, and do just as good a job cleaning as those other, commercial, chemical cleaners. Vinegar leaves glass sparkling, and lemon juice makes the office smell delicious. If you have a cleaning staff, don’t forget to ask if they can clean your office these more environmentally-friendly products.
6. Stock the bathrooms with single-ply toilet paper.
This is pretty basic, but almost everyone forgets – even some recycled toilet paper producers are guilty of the two-ply offense. Single-ply toilet paper doesn’t clog the drains, uses fewer trees, and is usually cheaper.
7. Encourage communications through email, not paper memos.
Paper memos are old-fashioned and wasteful. For brief communications, it’s more efficient to use email.
8. Offer employee bonuses for use of the public transportation.
Your employees will get to work on time more often – increasing office efficiency. And you’ll help reduce the use of fossil fuels.
9. Clean the back of the fridge.
This is pretty basic, too. But so often forgotten, even by a conscientious cleaning staff. Cleaning the back of the fridge – the coils and electric circuitry – increases energy efficiency.
10. Insulate, insulate, insulate!
It reduces dependence on the thermostat, and makes the acoustics of the office more pleasing.