It may seem like being green at work is completely up to where you work and what your employers are willing to do. While it is great to talk to your boss and start a recycling initiative or green awareness program, we’re going to focus on what things you can do as an individual, whether or not your boss is on board with going green. Here are 10 quick and easy tips for being more green at work.
1. Bring your lunch to work. Cut down on packaging—and waste— by packing your lunch and snacks in a re-usable lunch box or bag and bringing your own water in a re-usable bottle.
2. Observe Meatless Mondays. A lot of people observe meatless Mondays for their health or in consideration of vegetarians at work or at home. Why not opt for veggies every Monday to be more green at work? Producing meat uses a lot of important resources and cutting back for just a day can make a big difference.
3. Use sustainable office products. Wherever you can, always opt for recycled or post-consumer labelled office supplies. Cut back on wasting plastic by using a re-fillable pen instead of disposable ones. Instead of buying and throwing away disposable tape dispensers, oder rolls of tape and re-fill a re-usable dispenser.
4. Save on paper. “Post-consumer,” “recycled” and “sustainably harvested” are words to look out for. When it doubt, go for the highest amount of post-consumer waste and the lowest amount of chlorine bleach. Print on both sides of the paper and cut back on waste by using misprints or old files as scratch paper at your desk.
5. Use energy wisely. Use eco-friendly bulbs in your desk lamp. Buy energy-efficient appliances. Maximize the energy settings on your computer.
6. Use the air dryer in the bathroom. Save more trees by using those air hand dryers in the bathroom, not the paper towels.
7. Share your transportation. Sick of sitting in traffic commuting to or from work? Save yourself the trouble and go green by carpooling or using public transportation instead. Arrange with your spouse to share the car or join a carshare. Carpool with a coworker or buy a year-long train or underground pass. Split a cab or taxi fare instead of going solo.
8. Get rid of your screensaver. Contrary to popular belief, screensavers use up a lot of energy. Change yours to a blank option or get rid of it altogether.
9. Buy your work clothes on consignment. You can save big, look sharp and be more green at work by buying your work attire second-hand.
10. Grow an office plant. Freshen the air and liven up your space by adding organic (unsprayed) office plants to your workspace. For extra points, choose plants that are water-efficient.