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Being Green at Work Print E-mail
Joshua Vadney   
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
Being Green at Work You're starting to become more aware of what you consume and throw away. You’re recycling at home and now you would like to try it at the office. More offices, schools, and municipalities are becoming aware about recycling so your co-workers and bosses should be receptive if you suggest a recycling plan at work. Here are 10 suggestions that you can easily implement at the office to help the environment.

1. If your office has a lot of windows, leave the lights off and use the natural lighting nature provides. There's no reason to ignore a free light source and your company’s electricity bill will be lower.

2. Start a recycling program if your company doesn't have one in place. Your office generates a lot of waste in the kitchen, bathroom and at your desk. You could put it to good use by financing a company picnic or donating to a charity just from recycling revenues.

3. Make recycling your paper products a top priority. Paper products are the most wasted item in an office environment that you can recycle. Call your waste removal company to pick them up separately and they might refund the money they make recycling your paper products off your bill.

4. Keep real plants in the office (as many as you can reasonably take care of.) Living plants have been scientifically proven to have calming effects on people and they reduce the amount of gasses and fumes emitted by the office environment.

5. Turn your air conditioning down in the summer, or turn it off and open some windows. Use only as much heating as you need in winter, and don’t leave heaters on in meeting rooms that aren’t being used. There’s no reason to sit in a fridge in summer or an oven in winter.

6. Most corporations have an office kitchen. If yours does, put aside used coffee grounds (including the filter) for any co-workers who garden. (Coffee grounds improve the soil for better plant growth.) Your landscaping contractor would also be happy to pick them up on a bi-weekly or monthly basis to add to their compost piles.

7. Stop using disposables in the kitchen area. Each employee should bring their own coffee cup and dishes to work if they use them everyday. Washing your dishes or rinsing your coffee cup out once a day has a lesser impact on the environment than throwing away plastic or styrofoam items that will last a long time in a landfill every day.

8. Ask your Cleaning Contractor to use green cleaning supplies as much as possible. And to use cloth towels when possible to avoid the waste of paper towels.

9. Be as actively paperless as possible. Email invoices and receipts to your vendors/customers as much as possible. Then it becomes their responsibility to print a paper copy, if necessary. Not using a piece of paper is better than a used piece of paper that has to be recycled.

10. Replace all your light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs as they burn out. Energy efficient bulbs last 8 to 15 times longer than normal bulbs and they use a fraction of the power. They may cost more to purchase initially but they more than pay for themselves.

For more ideas and tips check out my other green tips articles here or visit

Joshua Vadney has always been interested in "being green" and has started his own web page with tips for saving money while having a lower impact on the environment. Visit to learn about useful ways you can be green.

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