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Want a green office? These tips will help!

green office tips

What Exactly is Going Green?

Going green has become a very popular term over the last 15 years, and it is here to stay.  The term refers to the color most prevalent in the natural environment, and while there is not a single definitive answer to the question of what exactly is going green, in the business world, it generally means that companies are making a commitment to do things to help sustain our environment and reduce the footprint they leave on the environment.  These include things such as conserving energy, recycling, purchasing sustainable products, reducing waste and pollution, and reducing water consumption.

So, exactly how does going green work? 

Green Office Tips

Conserving energy options:

  • Choose energy efficient appliances and heating and cooling systems when replacing old ones or purchasing new
  • Turning the thermostat up 1-3 degrees higher than normal in the summer, and lower in the winter
  • Turn off all lights that are not used frequently
  • Replace standard light bulbs with compact florescent bulbs…even better LED light bulbs.
  • Encourage and/or reward employees to walk, bike, or carpool to work
  • Planting shade trees

Recycling Options:

  • Choose reusable products over disposable ones when possible. An example is our friends at Lasercycle in Lenexa, KS.  They recycle ink toner from HP toner cartridges.  Zero waste is their goal. 
  • Buy used office furniture and/or equipment when possible.  
  • If replacing office furniture, try to sell or donate so that it is not thrown away.  
  • Make and use products with recycled or repurposed materials
  • Locate recycling bins and tubs throughout the office

Purchasing Sustainable Products:

  • Sustainability, as defined by the United National General Assembly in 1987, means that something “meets the needs of the present, without undermining future generations to meet their needs.” Sustainable products are those products that provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health, welfare, and the environment
  • Forest Stewardship Council Certified wood products
  • Clean vehicles
  • Wind and solar power

Reducing Waste & Pollution Options:

  • Order supplies via voice mail, e-mail or the internet to save paper
  • Substitute less toxic materials for toxic materials (e.g. vegetable inks, water based glue, markers and paints)
  • Request that deliveries be shipped in returnable containers
  • Buy products with recycled content
  • Make double-sided copies whenever possible
  • Reuse packaging as much as possible
  • Use e-mail or voice mail or put messages on a central bulletin board
  • Save documents on the computers instead of printing hard copies
  • Print drafts on recycled paper

Reducing Water Consumption:

  • Low-flow fixtures such as toilets
  • Sensor activated faucets in restrooms
  • Water filter on a faucet instead of purchasing water coolers or bottled water

Going green is not just a commitment to environmentally responsible actions, it is also a state of mind.  Individual people, as well as businesses, must change their old habits and practices to ensure that our natural resources will be available for many generations.  While there are more answers than just the above to the question of “what exactly is going green”, these green office tips are a good place to start.  If you are local, here are our favorite Kansas City Environmentally Sustainable Eco-friendly Companies.  

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