I read a lot lately about the importance of going green and conserving Mother Earth’s natural resources. It seems that this global warming isn’t going away. And while the debate rages about the causes, the cures and the challenges surrounding global warming, I wonder, “what can I really do here in my small office that will really make a difference?” Let’s be honest, I’m not going to hug a tree, I’m not going to launch a huge protest and there’s no way I’m buying a Prius. On the other side, I’m not going to litter, I do conserve and when I see people leaving trash on the beach, I want to throw sand in their face.
But again, I’m here in my office and not on the beach with a fistful of sand. A benefit of going green at work is that it’s an effective way to reduce costs while giving you that ever so slight “peace of mind.” We’ve recently employed a few tactics here at work that have helped us reduce costs and lessen our carbon footprint. They’re easy to do and while being economical, they also make a lot of sense.
Lights Out – If you leave the room for 15 minutes or longer, shut the lights out. It also makes your office cooler and saves electricity.
Unplug your computer at the end of each day – Having it unplugged saves both energy and increases your battery life so that when you go to a meeting for more than 15 minutes, having turned out your office lights, you can get more from your battery. And let’s be honest, no meetings last only 15 minutes.
Take notes on your computer – If you can type your notes during a call or conference, not only will you be able to transcribe more, you won’t be left scratching your head at the end of the day wondering, “what the hell did I write here, is that an W or a was I drawing ocean waves?”
Find a mediator in the Thermostat war – Get self adjusting thermostats that set the temperature at a certain level during the evening hours. Whether you like it hot or cold, it doesn’t much matter when you’re not in the office.
Cupping – Save the plastic cups that you use. Instead of getting a new cup each time you get water, simply save the plastic cup. I’ve got about 15 stacked in my office (I keep forgetting)….but I haven’t thrown a cup away in quite some time and I’ll be ready if a beer pong game erupts. Yes, something more permanent like a glass cup or mug is the ideal choice.
When the lights go out – Begin replacing old light bulbs with fluorescent, low energy lights. They last longer and keep your office from heating up. On the converse, in the winter, use an incandescent light, it will brighten up your office and give off a good bit of heat.
Keep it electronic – When possible, keep your communications electronic. If you don’t need to print something, don’t do it. We’ve all seen Office Space, no one likes fax machines or copiers anyway.
These are just a few items that may help a bit. If you’ve got some other ideas, please pass recycle them.