“Going green” is a very popular phrase these days. Companies are going out of their way to ensure that they are considered a green company – and many initiatives are being spearheaded by the employees themselves. My company is no different. Over the past year or so, there have been a number of steps that have been taken to reduce my company’s carbon footprint. Here is a list of green office tips that we’ve actually implemented at my company.
1. Eliminate paper coffee cups
My company offers its employees free coffee which, to be honest, is not very good but I am picky when it comes to good coffee. Eliminating the paper cups and asking the employees to use their own mug saved the company money and eliminated wasted refuse.
2. Purchase a dishwasher
This step went hand-in-hand with Tip #1 since employees now have the ability to wash mugs, forks, spoons, and plates which eliminated the need for paper products.
3. Switch to green cleaning products
Our company uses a cleaning company. We have dictated to the cleaning company to only use non-toxic and biodegradable cleaning products.
4. Implement motion-detector lights in all conference rooms
There was a sense that lights were oftentimes left on in conference rooms in between meetings and at the end of the day.
5. Utilize recycle boxes to place excess paper throughout the company
Throughout the company there are now boxes that are used to place excess paper. A company clears out these boxes and recycles the paper on a regular basis.
6. Place recycle boxes for all bottles and cans in the cafeteria
We have vending machines that dispense soft drink bottles and cans. We have placed plastic recycle boxes in the cafeteria and they are picked up and recycled on a regular basis.
7. Replace all lighting throughout the company with more efficient lights
This not only reduces the energy used but cuts electricity costs.
These are 7 steps that my company took to go green. Has your company implemented any more go green strategies?
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Great article and hopefully it sparks some readers to seriously consider their energy use in the office.
In our offices we’re already doing most of the things you’ve mentioned on this list.
We use mugs instead of paper cups. Cans, paper/card, plastic is put into seperate recycling bins. All the lighting is turned off every night. As the meeting rooms are located at the sides of the building daylight is use more often than the lights.
Another item for your list would be making sure unused equipment is switched off. I’m sure even more energy could be saved if office users turned off their computers when we went home instead of leaving them on standby.
Outside of the office we make use of the UK’s Bike2Work Scheme promoting employees to ride to work instead of using the car.
You make a good point about shutting off computers. I do think most of my co-workers already do this. I tend to bring my laptop computer home with me anyway. I never heard of the Bike2Work scheme but it sounds like a great idea. My commute is over an hour so that wouldn’t work for me but carpooling does. Thanks for your input.
well, good tips. But! the point of the coffeecups is not true. It was investigated in the netherlands and the outcome was that plastic or paper cups were better in mos situations. When people use regular mugs, they have to be washed in machines, which are particularly not green and use a lot of energy. That was even worse than making and recycling the paper cups.
So, think again about te paper cups.
I hear what you are saying about the paper cups and mugs. I, for one, use a mug and just quickly wash it briefly after I finish my coffee. I don’t use the dishwasher. I think it was more that the paper cups were not being recycled, rather than the energy use. If the cups were recycled I don’t think we would’ve moved to using mugs.
These are good points but some of them I don’t see being entirely realistic. I work at a small company where our green initiative is run by ou CEO. He’s the one that really cares what people are doing and he’s the one you have to hear from if you aren’t following his green rules (and not one you way to hear from). Everyone has recycle boxes near their desks and if you’ve only printed on one side of the paper, it goes into a pile near the printer to be deposited right back into the printer. In the lunch room we recycle EVERYTHING. You use a plastic fork, you better rinse it off and put it in the plastics box. We have a box for newspaper where people can pluck out old papers to read during their break and it will be properly recycled next week. We aren’t allowed to have open containers at our desk which forces us to bring covered coffee containers eliminating the need for paper cups. We publish our own books and direct mail and everything there is recycled. We even get paid to recycle all of our damaged books. As for lights, who needs auto lights when you just know you’ll get a bitching from the CEO. Same with computers and monitors. I do see it rubbing off on people. You will not see one brown bag in our common fridge. Everyone brings in reusable lunch bags 🙂 doing these things every day at work makes me consious on what I do at home too. Oh yeah and they encourage employees who live in a city that doesn’t offer recycling to bring in their own recyclables to dispose of at work.
It sounds like your company is extremely “green” conscious. I do like the idea of employees bringing in their own recyclables if they aren’t doing it in the city. It is also nice to see that it is rubbing off on people.
We actually already did all these 7 points, except for motion detectors: we only have the cheaper “light turns off 3 minutes after the button was pressed” version and have wide windows in the white-painted offices, therefore we rarely need to use artificial lighting (except in winter).
It’s interesting that your company implemented all 7 points except the motion detectors. It works for us.
I’m loving your idea about paper coffee cups. Truth is, coffee tastes better in mugs. I wonder if it’s just a hype that people are into drinking from it. Do they feel good drinking from a paper cup stamped with their fave cafe’s logo? Image or taste? We can never really know. Also, I think a simple act as switching/turning your electronic devices & lights off will save you up to 50% on your energy bills. It’s so much easier to put everything on standby mode these days..
I agree with you on drinking coffee from mugs. I use a mug every day so losing the paper cups didn’t bother me in the least. I guess turning off electronic devices tends to be easier said than done in the workplace. I tend to bring my laptop home with me so it is not an issue with me. But others I work with don’t tend to shut off their computers regularly. I guess it all comes down to a culture. If it is stressed in the company it becomes part of the fabric.
Coffee in mugs is great idea if its not harming environment during cleaning the mugs in dishwasher.Also we are forced to waste water for cleaning the mugs.In case of paper cups we can recycle it.amount of e-waste in all software companies getting higher so suggest some ideas to avoid the E-waste.wat s tat bike2work????????Is it possible for Big companies.
Here’s some information on the Bike2Work Scheme. It’s available to any business within the UK regardless of how big the company is.
You can find more information here: http://www.bike2workscheme.co.uk/
I think I need motion detector lights in my house, my husband never remembers! I ‘m also for using a mug all the way, even when we travel we use the reusable thermos saving the paper cups. Speaking of saving paper, here’s an anecdote and a tip on another way to “green the office”.
I work closely with people in the office supply industry and have seen a steady and increasing demand for eco-friendly products in the workplace and the need to implement a “Think Green” policy for everyday procedures in the workplace.
I recently had a client that was looking to update all his marketing material, including business cards, brochures, envelopes, etc. with new printed Barcode/ QR Codes that are now popping up everywhere. He was ready to throw all the old “non-printed QR code” material in the trash (not even in the recycling none the less!) I obviously stopped him and suggested that he get an eco-friendly reusable self-inking stamp that could be made into his custom QR code. He could then salvage all his old material and not have to even print the new.
He was unaware that you could even do that, so I pointed him in the right direction 🙂 This entire site offers the first climate-neutral stamp in the world ! http://www.allprostamps.com/Pages/EcoFriendly-Green-Stamps.aspx Check out their video.
Amazing, it really got my mind running on what else you could update with just a stamp?