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Green your mind and the rest will follow
There are a number of easy-to-implement steps you can take to add a little green to your work environment, or green the entire office for that matter. There's certainly lots of strategies to consider, from small changes in personal behavior to larger changes that require management. Here are six suggestions chosen for ease-of-implementation, environmental impact and financial payback.
1. Switch your lightbulbs
One of the easiest ways to significantly reduce your energy footprint is to switch from incandescent to fluorescent lightbulbs. On average, fluorescent versions save about 75% of the energy used by incandescents, which means 75% savings in energy cost for that device as well.
2. Drink from the tap
Municipalities (via your tax dollars) have spent millions over the years to ensure that quality potable water is available at every home and office. And while many of us perceive bottled water as a higher quality alternative, in many instances it is just municipal water, filtered, bottled and heavily marketed. Drinking the doctor-recommended eight glasses of water per day from tap water costs about $.15 (15 cents) per month, vs. $116.00 and 116 used containers consumed if you get your daily allowance from bottled water. Think about it: Almost $1,400 of hard-earned incomes spent annually for something available for free. Bad for the environment and your wallet.
3. Reusable water bottles: save paper, plastic, and money
Along with recycling more waste, another good step towards going green is to reduce waste produced. An average office employee uses nearly 500 disposable cups in just one year. Encouraging the use of reusable water bottles and coffee mugs is a great way to cut down on the amount of paper and plastic created by employees during lunch breaks and water cooler talk sessions.
4. Motion sensor lighting: save up to 50% in lighting expenses
The lights are on but nobody is home can sometimes have a very literal meaning. Many times in the office, lights will be left on in conference rooms or bathrooms despite being unoccupied. A simple fix for this is to install motion sensor devices on light fixtures. An office can save hours and hours worth of electricity by ensuring that lights are only on when a room is in use.
5. Power strips: reduce office electricity usage by 75%
Up to 75% of the electricity used to run office equipment can be consumed while the products are turned off. Plugging electronic devices into easy-to-reach power strips can save electricity and money. With the flip of a single switch, an employee can make sure that all of their devices are off and not draining electricity.
6. Recycling bins: start with the basics
We all know about recycling right? Yes, of course we do. Yet we recycle less than half of all recyclable waste. Try to make recycling convenient with some office recycling bins for paper, plastic, and glass waste. Putting out designated bins in the office is an easy first step that will help to encourage people to think and act green.