Happy Earth Day! Today is a great reminder to honor this beautiful planet we all call home. It’s also an excellent opportunity to think about changes you can make in your daily life to help the earth.
When I was growing up, my family had a very special friend, Jan. Jan was ‘green’ before ‘green’ was cool and she taught me a lot about being aware of how our actions impact our planet. She bought me a book called 50 Simple Things Kids Can Do to Save the Earth and it’s where I learned to turn the water off while I brushed my teeth and to use a reusable lunch box instead of a brown bag every day. They were simple things, but in the 90s, when green living was not exactly the norm, they were novel and they’ve stuck with me 20 years later.
The areas in which we can reduce our impact on the earth reach far and wide, but why not start at the place we spend most of our week: the office, where energy savings and waste reduction can be huge.
In hopes of inspiring even a small change this Earth Day, I present you:
10 Simple Things Offices Can Do to Save the Earth
- Replace disposable cups with ceramic, reusable mugs. If everyone in an office of 15 people brings her own coffee mug, 11,250 paper cups would be saved in a year’s time.
- Stop using staples in the office as stapled paper can often not be recycled. Instead, fold the corners or use a paper clip.
- Encourage eco-friendly transportation. Offer incentives for employees who ride-share or use public transportation.
- Institute refillable ink and toner cartridges or choose ‘recycled’ ink and toner cartridges.
- Buy recycled paper, recycled toilet paper, and recycled tissue paper.
- Stop the use of colored paper or Manila envelopes. These cannot generally be recycled.
- Search the web for city or state incentives for helping your office go green. This could increase your ‘green’ budget or allow you to obtain services for free.
- Elect someone in your office to head up the green initiative. (This person should likely be the same person responsible for ordering office supplies.)
- Adjust the settings on your office computers and machines to energy efficient mode and switch them all to power strips to save electricity.
- Request that your printer use recycled and FSC certified paper for your print jobs.