These days we are all doing what we can to cut down our carbon footprints. We turn off the lights when we leave the room, bring our own canvas tote bags to the grocery store, and only eat organic, sustainably grown food. Many of us have given up our cars in favor of using public transportation or biking to get where we need to go. All of these things are important but sometimes we still feel like we want to do more. The good news is, there is always more you can do to get greener. Changing your work habits and making your office more eco-friendly is the perfect place to turn green. There are a lot of ways to go green in your office, including by using the right eco-friendly technology. Here are a few ways you can make your workplace technology more environmentally friendly.
Change the way you use paper and printing.
We all know paper comes from trees, so it can never hurt to make a conscious effort to avoid unnecessary printing. Of course sometimes you need a hard document, but think before you print. The less you print, the less you waste. Also consider doing all of your printing double sided.
Your printer also can be less wasteful if you recycle your toner cartridges. If you are the purchaser of the equipment, look for remanufactured toner cartridges for your printers, copy machines, and fax machines.
Switch your accounts to receive e-bills and e-invoices instead of mailed copies. Your bills will be easier to pay, easier to manage, and better for the environment.
Reduce your energy use.
Cutting the amount of energy you use in your technology is a lot easier than you think. To start, a lot of products are manufactured to use less energy. This is true for kitchen appliances, like microwaves and coffee makers, that many offices keep in their kitchens. Look for Energy Star or EPEAT logos when making these purchases.
Turn off equipment that doesn’t get used very often, or at the very least put it on sleep mode over night.
Update your computer screen monitors to be more energy efficient by making an investment in Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) computer monitors. They use less energy and have great picture quality - it’s a great upgrade for more than just energy reasons.
Use power strips that you can turn off at the end of the day - this will save a lot of energy with little effort or investment!
Update your lighting.
If your office is using conventional bulbs, it is years behind in terms of energy efficiency updates in lighting. It is long past time for your office to switch to compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs). These CFL bulbs are three to four times more efficient than the standard conventional incandescent ones. They are a little more expensive, but they will last much longer and your bills will go down because of their efficiencies.
Make the most of the natural lighting your office gets. If you have big windows, do not keep the curtains drawn closed - open them wide, let the sun shine in! Turn off the lights when they’re not necessary, and always remember to turn them off when you leave the room for the day.
These are just a few of the ways you can make your office more environmentally friendly and more energy efficient. There are always more ways to get green, so once you get comfortable making these changes, look for other ways you can make the time you spend at your office better for the environment.