Green Manolo » 5 Ways to Go Green at Work

5 Ways to Go Green at Work

By Christa

1. Solve the paper problem at your place of employment by starting a recycling program or encouraging people to use the one already in place. Some businesses are still printing things that don’t actually need to filed in hardcopy form, so consider why you’re printing that report or email next time you feel tempted to do so. Try using the .WWF file format when sending stuff to print-happy colleagues, and if you do have to print, use both sides of the paper.

2. Bring a mug to work. It sounds so simple, but little things like two paper cups of coffee a day can add up to a lot of trashed paper cups over time. Whether you have a coffee maker in your office or you’re stopping into the coffee shop downstairs, enjoy your brew in a real mug. Not a coffee (or tea) drinker? Bring a refillable water bottle instead of using the little plastic cups dispensed on the side of the big jug. Just remember to wash your mug and your bottle out at the end of the day.

3. Brown bagging it is not only a green option, it will save you money over time, too. Except skip the brown bag and the plastic wrap and get yourself a nice lunch cooler and a reusable sandwich bag or a fun bento box for leftovers. Yes, bringing your own lunch means you actually have to make your lunch ahead of time, but you may find that you’re so creative with your lunches that your coworkers look longingly at your eats as they dig into yet another round of deli sandwiches.

4. If you have a choice of computers, opt for a laptop over a desktop because laptops consume less power than a standalone tower and monitor. At the end of the day, shut down your computer before going home instead of letting it run all night in hibernation mode. Remember, that whole ‘it takes more power to turn on a computer than to leave it running‘ idea is seriously out of date. And while you’re at it, turn off the lights if you’re the last one to leave. You may not be paying for the electricity, but it’s within your power to stop people from wasting it.

5. Your morning and evening commute may just be the most environmentally unfriendly part of your workday if you drive to work solo both ways. Not all areas have a useful train or bus system in place, so mass transit may not be an option for you. But have you considered riding your bike if your commute is a short one or carpooling with a coworker if it’s a longer drive? There’s also ridesharing, where people from different workplaces sharing driving duties. And if you absolutely must drive in, alone, drive smoothly and make sure your car is well maintained.

3 Responses to “5 Ways to Go Green at Work”

  1. Little Red Says:

    I do all but #4. IT likes us to leave our machines running with the screen locked so that software updates can be pushed out overnight.

  2. Christa Says:

    Not much you can do about that part, Little Red, but awesome to hear that you’re doing the rest!

  3. Deidra Azoulay Says:

    In December, my husband’s employer sent a notice to everyone explaining the changes to their insurance coverage. He told me that people were thrilled at the changes and he reminded them that it was due to HCR.

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