With the recent surge of popularity in environment-friendly practices, I recently joined the bandwagon and am currently doing everything I can to “green” up my life.
From my home to my workplace, I want to make sure that all my efforts are geared toward reducing my environmental impact on the planet. The project began after my teenage kids returned from boarding school in New Hampshire full of ideas about how we can live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Though our biggest energy savings were made in the home, I also made efforts to improve the efficiency of my office. I spend a lot of extra time at the office, studying for my law program, but I was shocked at how much of a difference simple changes could make! And after much testing, here are just a few of the most effective ways I’ve found to “green” up your office.
1. Be mindful of lighting. Whenever possible, try to keep the lights off or down to a low level. Open any windows in the room or near the room to allow the most amount of light to come in without flipping a switch. When it’s necessary to turn a light on, use LED light bulbs which are the most energy-efficient bulbs on the market. I like to use natural sunlight as much as I can, and this practice has reduced my electricity bill by nearly half!
2. Recycle. Setting up a recycling system is one of the easiest things you can do to turn things green in your office! Whether it’s your home or work office, set up two different trashcans, with one for garbage and one for recycling. Simply mark each basket with its corresponding intended usage and begin using them immediately. From soda cans to water bottles to empty peanut butter jars, recycling is a simple and effective green practice.
3. Set the thermostat lower. By simply reducing the temperature at which your room is set, you will greatly reduce your energy expenditure and your energy bill! Set it at a comfortable temperature, which might be a little lower than you’re used to, but you will quickly adjust. This practice has actually saved me hundreds of dollars, and has helped out the environment exponentially!
4. Reduce paper usage. I used to print everything and would eventually throw the paper away or accidently print one too many copies and have to throw that paper away because it was useless to me. Now, I only print when it is absolutely essential for me to do so, and use email instead. When I do print something out, I use the back of it the next time I need to print something or I use it as scrap paper. My work office even has a stack of scrap paper in the supply room so that people don’t reach for a new sheet every time they need one.
5. Cut out plastics. I started to use real utensils, mugs, silverware, etc. instead of their plastic counterparts and it has made a huge impact in my green efforts. I couldn’t believe how my daily meals and beverages were causing waste to pile up. I enjoy using my utensils, and that way it helps the environment.
Trying just a couple of these could make a significant difference in your energy footprint. See how much of a difference you can make by instituting some small changes of your own. You’ll be shocked by how easy it is to live a more sustainable lifestyle!