We’re living in the age of acronyms—DIY, ASAP, LOL, BRB, YOLO, BTW, FAQ, IDK, ICYMI, TTYL—so why not add a new one to the list? GYO: Green Your Office.
Whether your office is at home, in a corporate setting or wedged between a supply room and an employee break room, we’ve got ways to make your workspace eco-friendly.
1) The three Rs for the environment are a must!
Minimize how many supplies you order, and be mindful about paper and kitchen supply use. Be sure to power down your computer, register, printer, laminator or other equipment at night. Discuss eco-friendly products/packaging options with your vendors.
Designate an upcycle section that contains pens, markers, shelving units, chargers, folders, binders, furniture and other items for reuse. Items, like staplers, hole punches and tape, can live in a shared space so you don’t need to purchase as many of them.
Everything that can be recycled should be—paper, plastic wrap, printer cartridges, batteries, light bulbs, electronic devices and so on. Set up central repositories to make it convenient and accessible for employees. A green team can also coordinate weekly drop-off stations.
2) Organize green challenges.
Try motivating your employees (or yourself, for those working from home) to make a green splash at work. Promoting litter-free lunches, reusable mug month or one paper towel use (after handwashing) are good ways to get employees thinking about the planet.
Bring Your Own Plant. You’ll help with air quality and bring a touch of nature indoors. Get the scoop on what plants are most beneficial in the article 20 Indoor Plants That Can Improve Your Office Environment.
4) Unsubscribe from magazine subscriptions.
Most customers have what they need in the palm of the hand (ahem, their phone) to keep themselves busy in a waiting room.
5) Line up a location for your leftovers.
Catering a large meeting, office party or customer appreciation event? During your planning process, be sure to schedule a drop-off day/time with a food pantry or food bank for anything that may not get used. For those working from home, this would be a good time to consider a compost pile. Did you know egg shells add calcium to the soil, which is a good nutrient for plants?
6) Share what works.
Found a way to save on supplies or a new item that can be recycled in mass? Don’t be afraid to speak up. It’s good to exchange ideas with management or fellow home officers when it comes to helping the planet.
7) Power down.
In the breakroom, bathroom or the board room, turn off the lights when not in use (that goes for electronics also used in those areas).
8) Choose renewable energy. It’s clean!
If you’re working from home, in an office or for a small business, using clean electricity is the way to go. Green Mountain offers commercial plans for any size business and a variety of residential plans for homeowners. All of our plans are 100% pollution free and help support a greener electricity grid while cutting down on CO2 emissions.
For more tips and ideas on creating an eco-friendly workspace, check out this video.