Being eco-friendly or ‘going green’ is no longer a trending fad for house wives or BoBo’s (Bourgeois Bohemian’s) with too much time on their hands – it’s a responsibility, it’s everyone’s responsibility. That being said, it doesn’t have to be seen as an obligation, a bothersome chore that must be done along with taking out the rubbish and doing the dishes. Although you may not see the direct effects of ignoring the global crises as you would a stack a dirty dishes and leaky rubbish bags, going green makes a huge difference. And believe it or not, whether at home or work it can be fun, and rewarding.

So how can you go green at work?

1. Conserve Energy

The meeting room is looking rather dark in the Uprise office, why? Because no one is in it. Thus, the lights go out. It’s a simple step, and becomes second nature after a while. When you leave the room, switch off the lights. Easy peasy.

Switch your computer (and phone) to energy conserving settings:

  • Monitor and display sleep: Turn off after 15 minutes or less;
  • Turn off hard drives and hard disk sleep: 15 minutes or less;
  • System standby or sleep: After 30 minutes or less
  • Don’t use a screen saver – these use energy rather than save it

Fun Fact: A computer in sleep mode can save 60-70% of power

2. Unplugging is sexy. 

Think about what is chewing up energy in the office when you are not using it?

The printer? Yes.
The scanner? Yes.
The stereo? Yes.

Turn off and unplug all technology when not in use.

3. Get rid of the paper trail

Limit the amount of printing you do – sending hard copy invoices is not in vogue.

But lets be honest, you can’t work in a totally paperless environment, so choose wisely when purchasing paper. Buy recycled and chlorine-free paper.

Use your scrap paper – you may have used one side, but what about the other? Give your paper the proper love it deserves and use both sides.

4. Literally go green

Office plants not only liven the office up, they absorb air pollution, creating a cleaner, greener environment for you to work in.

5. The big R: Recycle

There are many items in your office that you can recycle:

  • Paper/Cardboard
  • Plastic bottles/containers
  • Tin Foil
  • Plastic bags
  • Ink cartridges
  • Batteries
  • Old computer hardware

6. Use environmentally friendly office products

They may cost a couple dollars more, but it’s a small price to pay to cut down on waste & pollution. Consider swapping to 100% recycled paper, fillable ink cartridges, non-toxic highlighters and cleaning products.

7. Eat healthy and local (packaging)

Do you really need to take a plastic knife and fork, only to up back at your office where there is perfectly good cutlery ready and waiting for you? Do you need to take out at all? If you’re going to grab lunch from down the road, why not sit down and enjoy it and limit plastic/polystyrene containers.

Popping down to grab an organic, fair trade coffee? Why not invest in a keep cup! It’ll keep your coffee warmer longer and save the trees!