Spring is upon us. This means that if there was ever a time to be thinking about “going green”, this is probably the time to do it. Trees are getting their leaves back (green) and flowers are blooming (green stems); it’s definitely like the universe is syncing up and encouraging us to become more eco-friendly.
When it comes to making “green purchases” for your workplace, there are actually more options now than ever before that are both good for the environment and easy on the wallet. If you’re looking to make a few additions to your workplace, here are some ideas worth checking out.
Let some new light in. If you’ve been keeping the blinds closed or curtains shut to help fend off any cold, winter drafts, the good news is that it’s getting warmer now, so let them up. Natural light is not just good for your health, but it also cuts energy costs down significantly. If you work the later shift, be sure to swap out the light bulbs in your lamps for energy saving ones, instead.
Use rechargeable batteries. Another thing that will bring an energy bill down is unplugging office items at the end of the day that won’t be in use. However, while you’re at work, why not get some rechargeable batteries for the flashlights, video equipment and even laptops that will be in use? Sure, they cost a little more on the front end, but benefit is that you can use them over and over again.
Check your floor mats. Who really thinks about the plastic or rubber thing that’s oftentimes under their chair at work? Indeed, there are some things in life that we need even if we don’t think about them much. Chair mats would fall into this category and there are actually some that are environmentally friendly. A company by the name of Snap Mat, Inc. makes office chair mats from wood and the Anji Mountain Bamboo Company makes office mats and floor mats out of, yep, you guessed it: bamboo.
Upgrade the office supplies. Paper, ink cartridges, photocopies, pens, the glass dry erase board that’s in the conference room. These are all things that we tend to use in excess, oftentimes without taking the environment into account. There are creative ways to address all of these, though. When it comes to paper and photocopies, thanks to our computers, they’re not as vital when it comes to communication as they used to be. Before writing something down or printing something off, ask yourself can it be typed and either filed away in an online folder or emailed out. When it comes to ink cartridges, there are recycled ones that you can purchase and remember that drug stores like Walgreens will refill the ones that you already have for a pretty low price. Pens and pencils? Well, thanks to companies like RecycledProducts.com and GreenLinePaper.com, you can find basically any kind of office supply with an eco-friendly twist from writing utensils to containers, cleaning supplies, labels, binders, wall calendars and more.
Buy some recycle bins. One of the best ways to encourage people to be more conscious of the environment is to lead by example. One of the best ways to do that is by setting up some recycle bins. One can be marked “paper”, another “plastic” and another, “compost”. Before long, employees will be so used to throwing their trash away in the appropriate bins that they might find themselves doing something similar at home, once they leave the office for the day.