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How to Be Green at Work

Updated on August 5, 2011
Go Green at Work
Go Green at Work | Source

Organizations large and small can achieve substantial savings by being green at work. It’s a win-win for employers and the environment to be green at work. Here are a number of ways to be green and realize savings in the workplace.

Reduce Heating and Cooling Energy Use

Keep thermostats at 68° during the heating season and at no lower than 74° or 75° during the cooling season. Organizations will achieve tremendous savings by being green with the thermostat.

Turn Off Computers and Other Office Equipment When Not in Use

To be green at work, shut down equipment that will not be used at night. Do the same for weekends and holidays and savings will add up. Small businesses may save a few hundred dollars a year while large organizations would save many thousands a year.

Also, during the workweek day set computers to go to sleep after a period of time not in use. The sleep mode saves about 70% on energy.

Manage Lighting Better

Be green at work and get significant savings by reducing energy used for lighting. Here are some ideas on managing workplace lighting better:

  • Keep lights off in all rooms that are not in use.
  • Use directed lights in work spaces instead of overhead lighting.
  • Use Energy Star qualified light bulbs and fixtures.
  • Consider installing timers or motion sensors that will turn off lighting when not needed.

Manage Printing Better

Here are several ways to be green and realize savings through better printing management:

  • Reduce printing by encouraging paperless offices. Just make sure computers are backed up religiously.
  • When printing is necessary use double-sided mode.
  • Print on draft mode.
  • Recycle ink and toner cartridges.
  • Buy only re-manufactured cartridges (half the price).

Reduce Travel

Curtail business travel in your enterprise and encourage online meetings or conference calls instead. This is another major area where you can be green at work and achieve substantial savings by reducing the carbon footprint of your organization. Invest in video conference technology if you need to, but reduce air and car travel. Also, encourage and support employee carpooling.

Recycle Everything Possible

You should make it easy for everyone to recycle to be green at work. Bottles, cans and paper are only the start. All obsolete or broken electronics items should be recycled responsibly, too, from cell phones and PDAs to laptops and desktop computers and monitors. Comprehensive recycling is a huge plus for the environment.

Ask for Supplier and Customer Cooperation and Green Suggestions

Invite your complete supply chain to support your efforts to be green in the workplace. Tell them what you are doing for the environment and ask for their ideas. They may come up with suggestions that lead to additional savings, too.

Ask for Employee Green Suggestions

Your employees are typically your greatest assets and can make real contributions to being green at work. Get them involved and ask for their suggestions. They, too, may find more ways for your organization to be green and save money.


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    • d-richie93 profile image

      d-richie93 6 years ago

      Thank you for continuing to promote the go green message. In Jamaca they have no laws against recycling hence no one takes itinto consideration. I wish that person would take this message seriously and do the right thing.

      Please visit one of my hubs and leave a comment

    • Astra Nomik profile image

      Cathy Nerujen 6 years ago from Edge of Reality and Known Space

      Interesting hub on going green. My work sees people positively burn through printed matter at a rate of knots, and the waste is ridiculous, but then it is a newspaper. I suggested printing on paper in offices for memos and files with ink at 50% grey instead of black and I was laughed at. Never felt so humiliated. Oh well, still its worth going for it because it helps in the long term.