Go Green: At the Office

From the caretaker to the CEO, every employee has a responsibility to work towards greener pastures. And there’s good news! Retrofitting your office helps more than just the environment. It can increase your bottom line and contribute to a healthy, low-impact workspace.

Here are a few tips for 'greening-up' the office:

Delete unnecessary text from emails before printing. A long email exchange can lead to several pages, which needlessly wastes paper when all you're trying to print the most recent message.

2) Instead of printing a web page,
bookmark it or save the page.

Use the size-reduction feature offered on many photocopiers. Two pages of a book can often be copied onto one standard sheet.

Photocopy and print double-sided

Do less on paper, more online. The greenest paper is no paper at all, so keep things digital and dematerialized whenever possible:
- Keep files on computers
- View documents on-screen rather than printing them out
- Send emails instead of paper letters

6) Printouts destined for the trash (or recycling bin!) may have more life in them. Don’t throw out those messed-up print jobs or obsolete reports – reduce them in half (or quarters) and
turn the blank reverse into notepaper.

Water is a precious resource. If you have extra drinking water after a meeting and before you go home, use it to water a plant.

Turn your computer off when you leave for the day. Otherwise, you're still burning energy even if you're not burning the midnight oil (Check with your IT department to make sure the computer doesn't need to be on to run backups or other maintenance).

Use 'screen sleep' or hard drive sleep modes that turn on automatically. Unless you have these energy-saving settings enabled, your computer is consuming higher-than-necessary quantities of electricity when it's not in use (and we're not referring to your screensaver, which protects your screen but does not reduce electricity usage).

Use paperclips instead of staples. Staples seem small and insignificant, but attached to discarded reports and printouts, they are ending up in landfills every year, refusing to biodegrade. Paperclips are eminently reusable, and using the dog-ear method may seem kind of juvenile, but it works in a pinch and creates zero waste.

Use recycled materials. When using paper is necessary, use recycled paper and envelopes that have been processed and colored using eco-friendly methods. Use pens and pencils made of recycled materials, and refillable pens and markers are preferable to disposable ones. Use biodegradable soaps and recycled paper or cloth towels in the bathroom and kitchen, and provide biodegradable cleaners for the custodial staff. Buy in bulk so that shipping and packaging waste are reduced, and reuse the shipping boxes. Recycling printer cartridges is often free, and recycled replacements are cheaper than new ones.

Use dry noodle sticks (like spaghetti cut in half) to stir your coffee instead of using plastic spoons or sticks.

Switch your lights. Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are three to four-times more efficient than standard incandescent bulbs. Also, encourage employees to maximize natural lighting and to turn off lights when leaving a room.

Re-use supplies whenever possible. Don’t throw away that file folder if it is still usable!

Use an electronic agenda rather than a printed calendar.

These are many great ways for an office to 'Go Green', and we look forward to hearing about what energy-saving and earth-friendly practices your office uses!


  1. great ideas Julie--thanks for sparking some inspiration for going green at the office.

  2. Great article on going green, to go further on this subject, this article takes it a step further, on how going green can:

    * Boost staff productivity
    * Accelerate access to reliable, consistent, effective training
    * Minimize redundant workflows and business processes
    * Increase eco-consciousness and reduced carbon footprint
    * Gain competitive edge with well trained staff

    Check out this link where they talk about the technologies (specifically Adobe ones) that help companies go green.