• Sharon Walker

10 Ways to Be More Sustainable at Your Office / Workplace

In previous article we gave you 18 tips to be more sustainable with your car and fuel.


In this article we will explain 10 great ways to be more sustainable at your office or workplace.



1. Change the light bulbs

The biggest single cost in many offices and workplaces is the electricity bill.


You can overcome this to some extent by installing CFL bulbs, or compact florescent lights. They are much more efficient and use less en ergy.


Put all electric devices at each desk on a power strip that can switch off. Computers and printers that are left plugged in drain power and cost money, costing the environment even more.



2. All-in-one device

When you are replacing a printer, consider getting an all in one device that combines printer, scanner, copier and fax.


Each component in an all in one device works as good as a dedicated one, and having a four in one machine is much more cost effective than having four separate ones.



3. Work from home

Telecommute if possible. Increasingly, companies are seeing the advantages of having their workforce working from home.


There are distinct advantages for the workers too. You don't have to commute for a start. In most cases you just need a good high speed Internet connection, a computer and perhaps a printer and fax.



4. Digital billing

Give customers the option of receiving their bills by email instead of sending out paper bills. Everyone saves this way and it works just as effectively too.



5. Reduce business meetings

Reduce the need for business meetings by conferencing online. Today's computers are fast and efficient.


They can easily cope with a web cam for virtual face to face meetings. Also, there are plenty of software choices for on line conferencing that come free to use.


Business travel is an expense that is not always needed. Some workers may view it as a perk, but it's costly and often unnecessary.



6. Print double sided!

Print double sided (duplex printing) and recycle all used paper. Some 21 million tons of paper no, I don't know how many trees that equate to gets thrown away by businesses every year.


That works out at around 175 pounds for every office worker in the country!


Think whether or not you actually need a physical printed copy of a document. You could save paper, money and trees by printing to PDF instead!



7. Give old equipment a second life

When you replace office equipment such as printers and computers, find a good home for them.


Most old office equipment is still in fine working condition and is just being upgraded. There are plenty of charities or low income families who will gladly accept your old equipment and give them a second life.



8. Ecofriendly web hosting

Consider changing over to an environmentally friendly web host.


They are as competitively priced as th e ones who don't care, and they usually take steps to reduce their ecological footprint by buying carbon offsets, as well as other measures.



9. Business trips by train

If business travel is essential (and it usually isn't), then consider putting employees on trains instead of planes.


It may take a little longer to reach the destination, but trains are much more ecologically friendly than planes ever will be. You will save money and carbon emissions!



10. Digital applications

If you are advertising a job, allow applicants to submit their applications on line.


Your business may not advertise for jobs very often, but consider a large employer like a city administration who advertises for say, four jobs a month.


Let's say that around 150 people apply for each job and around 50 % of the applicants are qualified.


The usual way is to have 75 printed applications for review by the Board.


Each application is on average five pages long. That's 375 sheets of paper. Only five of them, one application, will be kept on file, the rest is thrown away.


If you have an on line application, on the other hand, you will save 375 sheets of paper for every job advertised (in this example). That would be 1,500 sheets of paper a month (four job postings a month).


That's 18,000 sheets of paper a year.


Let's say that the average sheet of paper measures .004 inches thick. That's a paper stack

standing six feet tall! And every year it gets thrown away.


Why?


Save money, save trees and provide on line job applications!



Conclusion

Here were 10 ways to become more sustainable in your office or workplace. Which of these tips do you apply to your workplace? Let us know below!





#sustainability #savetheplanet #greenliving

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