What businesses can do to be green
Looking for ways to be greener at work but don’t know where to start? The following list contains tips on how you can reduce your carbon footprint during your workday. From something as small as turning off unused lights to placing plants in your office, every little thing counts. Please be aware that your company may already be doing some of the following, so make sure you check with your company.
- Purchase recycled and green office supplies. There are several office supply stores that provide alternative “green” office supplies. Use cleaning supplies and restroom paper products that meet EPA’s Environmentally Preferred Purchasing guidelines or are certified by organizations such as Green Seal.
- Teleconference/video conference/WebEx when possible to reduce travel. If employees must travel to a meeting, encourage them to carpool with others that may be attending the same meeting.
- Turn off unused office lights. Turn off lights in bathrooms, conference rooms, kitchens, libraries and other unused areas whenever possible—and especially on weekends. When employees work late, encourage them to use task lighting instead of lighting an entire floor. Post a reminder by the light switches until people get in the habit.
- Limit the use of disposable products at company-supplied lunches and events. Ask vendors who supply company lunches not to deliver lunches in boxes. Stock cabinets with reusable dishware instead of disposable cups, plates and utensils. Send extra food from company events home with the employees or deliver the food to a local charity rather than throwing it away.
- Shut down computers at the end of every day and turn off the monitors. During the day, put computers and printers on energy saving settings like “hibernate” or lower the energy settings.
- Set up an internal recycling program. Recycle cans, bottles, newspapers, magazines and office paper. Be sure to put collection containers in central areas and at desks. Contact local vendors to determine what recycling services they provide.
- Limit the use of space heaters. Ask employees to dress more warmly or provide “green” sweatshirts for employees to keep at their desks to wear when they are cold.
- Remove office water coolers. Use tap water with faucet filters or water purifying pitchers. Kansas City has the best drinking water quality in the United States and is as good or better than bottled water.
- Advise employees on how to use less paper. Encourage employees to use the double-sided printing feature of their printers, fax machines and copiers. Reuse paper that has been printed on one side and create scrap notepads for staff use.
- Place plants in your office space. Plants replenish oxygen and absorb airborne pollutants. Plants also provide a more pleasant place to live and work.