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Going Green in the Workplace

We all know the benefits to going green; reduce waste in landfills and oceans, reducing environment pollution, having better quality of air to breathe, health benefits, saving money on your energy bills, and most importantly conserving resources as we are not promised those resources forever. Since there is a long list of advantages to being Green, here are some tips you may want to implement in your work place.

Electronics

• Completely turn off your computer and printers.
• Change your printer settings to print lighter, print doubled sided, and always remember “think before you print”.
• Recycle unused or non-useable electronics properly. Typically once a month your county or town will hold a day to collect electronics to be recycled appropriately. You can easily find this information on the internet.
• Switch over to compact bulbs and LED lighting.
• Install motion sensors to activate lights in rooms that are not in constant use, such as: bathrooms, conference rooms, and storage rooms.
• Your company can invest in energy efficient appliances, such as a refrigerator in the break room. As a bonus, your company may qualify for a tax credit.

Materials

• Buy recycled paper. Look for paper that is chlorine-free, to reduce the use of harsh chemicals.
• Reuse the boxes that paper comes in as your recycling boxes. Each employee can store them under their desk, allowing easy access to store recyclable items.
• Use misprinted or scrap paper as note pads.
• Buy and use green cleaning products that are biodegradable and ecofriendly.
• Buy and use refillable pens and ink cartridges.

Commuting

• See if any fellow co-workers can set up a car pool.
• If possible bike or walk to work. This is not only beneficial to the environment, but you also reap health benefits for your body.
• Invest in a hybrid car, and possibly qualify for a tax credit.
• Talk to your boss to see if you are able to work four 10 hour days.
• If possible, take advantage of new technology and telecommute a few days a week.

Work Environment

• Put air purifying plants around your desk and office. This allows better air quality reducing your intake of bad air. Another great health benefit and also increases work production.
• See if your company will allow casual dress attire. This permits less dry cleaning, which uses harsh environment polluting chemicals, and again more money in your pocket. If your company requires corporate dress, look into “green” dry cleaners, who use safe cleaning products.
• Bring your lunch in reusable containers and carriers.
• If your company is redecorating, suggest using light color paint on the walls. This allows for natural light to fill the room, and reduces the amount of power lights being used during the day.
• Check the HVAC settings. A lot of energy waste contributes to over using the air conditioning in the summer and heat in the winter. In the summer wear lighter clothes, and in the winter wear warmer clothes.

References:
http://www.treehugger.com/htgg/how-to-go-green-at-work.html
http://www.sustainablebusinesstoolkit.com/going-green-tips-for-the-office/
http://www.wikihow.com/Go-Green-at-Work
https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/openforum/articles/30-easy-ways-to-go-green-in-the-office-1/

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