How to go green at work.

You’re doing your part to save the planet. At home you carefully separate your trash into the various recyclable categories, you try to avoid unnecessary and wasteful trips in your car, and you even choose non-toxic cleaning products that are less likely to harm the environment. You’re a regular Captain Planet.

And then you go to work.

It’s all too easy to leave your eco-friendly mindset at home and resort back easier, not-so-green practices at the office. Don’t feel bad, it’s a lot more difficult to be eco-conscious at work. With that in mind, here are some tips to help you make your workplace a little more environmentally friendly.

  1. Be energy conscious – If you’re like a lot of people, you probably never think twice about leaving your computer on when you head home at the end of the workday. But maybe you should. Studies have shown that by simply shutting down your workstation you can save a significant amount of energy.
  2. Stop printing everything – The next time you’re about to print off an email, stop and ask yourself: do I really need a hard copy of this? Studies have shown that up to 80% of printed emails are never actually used. So before you kill a tree (and waste a bunch of energy making and printing paper), consider if it’s actually vital to print out that email.
  3. Telecommute – Obviously this isn’t an option everywhere, but if your company allows you to work from home, even occasionally, you can cut down on pollution and increase time availability. It’s a win-win for everyone.
  4. Use green materials – It’s nearly impossible to go completely green, but making a switch to recycled papers and envelopes or refillable pens and markers can make a big difference. When selecting branded merchandise for your company, consider items made from sustainable materials or manufactured in an environmentally friendly manner.
  5. Get your coworkers involved – The best way to make your office greener is to spread the word. Share practices and encourage everyone to be conscious of the effects their actions can have on the environment.

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it should get you started. As you begin the process of making your office more eco-friendly, you’ll see that a little effort and the right frame of mind can make a big difference.