Sure, you make an effort to recycle at home, but what about the piles of waste that are produced every day at work? Being eco-conscious isn’t something that should stop when you walk out your front door—here are five tips to help you save energy and waste less at the office.
1. Paper work
Hundreds, even thousands, of sheets of paper come out of that printer every day at the office. In an effort to save some trees, check to see if your workplace purchases recycled paper; if it doesn’t, speak to the person in charge of ordering office supplies to make sure that changes.
Also, use your better judgement to decide what really needs to be printed out. Break the habit of printing important emails and files just to have them on paper. Saving things in a separate file on your computer, or backing them up onto CDs, DVDs, or an external hard drive will make sure you have a copy of them to refer to in the future, without wasting any paper.
When you do print out an email or file, make as much use of that sheet of paper as you can; if you no longer need what’s written on the front side, save a stack of old printouts, staple them together and use them as notepads.
When you’ve gotten all the use you can out of one single sheet of paper, then feel free to toss it into the recycling bin (never the garbage)!
2. Re-hydrate, the smart way
Drinking enough water is essential to your health; but make sure that getting your eight glasses a day isn’t causing you to produce waste uselessly. We won’t even mention how wasteful it is to use disposable paper cups; why not get a high-quality sports bottle and fill it up when you need to instead?
3. Shut down
Many people simply leave their computers on standby (or “sleep”) mode overnight. In order to save energy, make sure to shut down your PC or Mac completely before you leave the office for the day. And don’t forget to turn off your screen! It goes without saying that you should switch it off at end of the day, but also make an effort to shut it off before you go to lunch, attend a meeting, or even take a short break. Turning your computer screen on and off is instantaneous, so you won’t be wasting any time, but you will be saving energy.
4. Lights out
This may seem like a very basic tip, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t bother turning off their office lights before they leave at the end of the day. You wouldn’t leave all the lights on at home, so don’t assume someone else will shut them off for you at work! The same thing goes for the heating or air conditioning.
Many people take public transportation to work, but if the location of your workplace isn’t easily accessible by bus or subway, it may be more convenient for you to drive. If this is the case, talk to your co-workers to see who lives around your area, and offer them a ride or arrange to commute with them as many times a week as possible.
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