How About a Green Office? by Jessica Hodges
Last time I check, our mother earth is sick. Ever since the movie – An Inconvenient Truth came out in 2006, the term ‘Global Warming’ has drawn a lot of attention. ‘Pro-green’ activists groups are being formed all over the country, rather, all over the world. While the first Smart car first greeted the American public in 2008, President-elect Barack Obama promised to introduce a million plug-in hybrid cars to the America by 2015. On the other side of the globe, the Chinese, Japanese and Korean governments are experimenting with the use of solar panels – and are preparing to bring such technology to the public at an affordable price. Pro-green advertisements are everywhere on the web and the same applications and widgets(such as Green Office by shoplet.com) can be found all over the place in the world of social networks such as Myspace and Facebook. It seems like the world has came to realize the meaning and the importance of ‘Going Green’. Most of us probably spend most of our time in our office during the week, so what can you do to make your office a greener place?
Here are a few tips:
Lights: LED and Compact Fluorescent
Although LED lights bulbs are slightly more expensive, they consume much less energy which, at the end of the day, not only are you saving energy for the world, you are also saving yourself some money from your electric bill. If LEDs are not an option, consider compact fluorescent lights. They use ¼ of the energy used by regular lights and can last up to 10 times longer.
In this digital age, a lot of the printed materials in an office are only being used a few times. Think twice and evaluate the necessity before printing. If you were to just print an article and read it once before you toss it away, why not keep it in your computer and read it on-screen? Also, If your job requires you to face the computer screen most of the time, wouldn’t it be more convenient to take notes using light-weight software like notepad instead of using paper. At least you are not tiring your neck by lifting your head every other second.
Pack Your Lunch
Not only are you eating healthier when you pack your own lunch, you are also helping to save the world by not using those packaging made by toxic material that is difficult for mother earth to ‘digest’.
Bring a Mug
Instead of using plastic bottles for your drinks in the office, bring your own mug. You will be saving the use of a lot of plastic.
Recycle: Paper; Bottles; Cans
Try to recycle as much as possible. Things like paper, bottles and cans can be recycled and SHOULD BE recycled. If there is a recycling bin sitting around the corner, treat it like a recycling bin rather than a trash can. Encourage your company to adopt recycling. If there are documents that are inevitable to be printed or bottles that are inevitable to be used, go ahead, but please remember to recycle.
Computers: Laptop. Energy Saver. Shut It Down.
Use a laptop instead of a desktop if possible as laptop consumes close to 10 time less energy than a desktop. There is also less packaging that comes with a laptop than a desktop, and because of a smaller size, it means less space is needed during transportation thus less transportation is used. If using a desktop cannot be avoided, optimize your energy consumption by turning on the energy saving option on your computer. Finally, if you are not using a computer, a printer or any other devices, shut them off.
The Printing Habit: Go Both Ways
We all know that: yes, we can avoid printing as much as we can, but there is absolutely no way to not print anything in an office. Try to use both sides of the paper when printing. Use eco-friendly ink such as soy based ink. ■
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