Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bring your green living to work and inspire others to follow suit

Love it or hate it, unless you were lucky enough to be born into riches you’ll be spending plenty of time working. That being said, if you are into green living and want a few more ways to carry that over into the workplace, than read on. Much of the same tactics you adopted at your house can be applied to your office, and what’s more is that you have the potential to influence even more people to follow your lead. If your company doesn’t already have their recycling bins set up and labeled, take the initiative and you could not only be effecting how things run while everyone is on the clock, but you could even inspire your fellow coworkers to be more eco-friendly at home. Word of mouth can be a powerful tool, and by nature people follow by example, don’t think just because you are one Dilbert in a huge corporation your actions will go unnoticed.

Well, we’ve tackled the recycling bins, but even if you are using recycled paper for as many tasks as you can, the truth is that between the brands you may not be getting as much of a green living choice as you might think. Look at the percentage of post-consumer content as well as how much chlorine bleaching is done; as with many other kinds of ‘eco-friendly’ products there are some mixed messages so look closely. When you are printing, use both sides of the sheet and it’s even better if you can print off multiple pages just scaled down to use less paper.

The same old phantom energy is going to come up again, and this is especially crucial in a big business where computers, printers, faxes, and the like run aplenty. These are the prime energy suckers and what you can do to limit the amount of carbon you release is to set the timers on such items to the shortest interval before they lapse into an energy saving mode. If you have the ability to group all of the cords on your computer’s accessories (scanners, printers, etc) do that and then you can easily switch that powerstrip on and off at your will. Finally, if you’ve got a phone charger there don’t keep it plugged in all the time and only recharge when the battery in fact needs it.

For some things you can do when not at the job but still pertain to work, you should carpool and cut as much transporting gas emissions as you can. Send around a memo to see if anyone lives near you, you can take public transportation, and you could even walk or ride your bike depending on how far away you live. At lunch time keep up your green living habits by brown bagging it if you can; if you do go out make sure you wrap up whatever leftovers there are in recyclable containers and if you do travel to the café or restaurant go for one nearby so that you can walk there and avoid having to drive or travel a long distance too. Spreading that eco word around the office can be rather simple, it may not be as juicy as the latest office gossip, but I’m sure it is much more important.

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