Be Greener at Work
We all know the drill at home; brown bin for garden waste, green bin for recycling, but how do we continue the good habits at work? Here are the top ten tips on recycling at work:
Make your own lunch
Making your own lunch and taking your snacks to work in reusable containers reduces waste from packaging and helps save money. Think about how much you spend on that takeaway coffee and sandwich over a week, a month, and a year, then think about how much packaging you probably just discard in the rubbish bin.
Make office supplies last longer
Use pens one at a time as ink dries up if pens aren’t used very often. Don’t use paper unnecessarily. Only print documents when necessary and save envelopes by considering whether you could just send an email or speak to a customer, client, or colleague instead.
Choose office supplies that are easily recyclable
Ask yourself when you are purchasing equipment, whether it can be reused or recycled. Can you use paper clips instead of staples? Can you use newspaper to package items instead of bubble wrap? Reuse files and folders as many times as you can.
Make your commute greener
Reducing the amount of driving to work you do, even a little, can make a difference. You can do this by walking, cycling, carpooling, or taking public transport. This can seriously reduce carbon emissions.
Reduce the amount of paper you use
Email documents to clients and colleagues, and use presentations rather than handouts in meetings. Only print items when necessary, and use both sides of the paper where you can. Always recycle paper.
Reduce waste by using reusable items
Office birthday celebrations and lunch breaks mean that you can end up using a lot of single- use products. Keep reusable items such as reusable coffee mugs, water bottles and plastic bags on hand to keep waste to a minimum.
Computers and other office equipment can use up a lot of energy. Switch machines off when they aren’t in use and don’t leave anything on standby. You can adjust the settings on laptops and computers so that they go into hibernation when you haven’t used them for a certain amount of time. Switch off lights when you leave a room.
Try paperless notes
Most of us scribble down notes at work on paper, and we get through a lot of it! You can now get a sticky notes app for your smartphone or computer so you don’t have to bin endless post-its. Or what about investing in a white board so you can still have visual reminders on hand but with much less waste?
Reduce packaging and packing waste
Reuse cardboard boxes where possible, and don’t send tiny items out in huge boxes packed with tons of brown paper, or even worse, Styrofoam!
Get your colleagues in on the action
Share ideas for going green with your colleagues. Have a supply of reusable water bottles and shopping bags at hand so your whole office can get in on the act. Send out a memo via email about ways that everyone can be greener at work. Encourage recycling, reduce the number of documents that get printed out, remind people to turn off lights when they leave a room; everyone can play their part. Even the smallest changes make a difference if everyone gets actively involved.