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How to Go Green at Work

How to Go Green at Work

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Enjoying an eco-lifestyle means living greener in all areas of your life. You may be taking environmentally friendly steps at home, but are you also doing it at work?
People spend almost 90% of their lives indoors, and for those people who work inside that equates to about 40 or more hours at your desk, office or cubicle. So don’t you want your work space to be eco-friendly and energy efficient?


  1. Conserve Your Computer's Energy. For many people with desk jobs the computer is absolutely necessary to get things done. It is estimated that people waste over $1 billion in electricity every year just in computer use! To help conserve energy for your computer you can:
    • Invest in an energy-saving computer, monitor and printer
    • Switch to energy-saving settings
    • Turn off your computer whenever you’re not using it
    • Set it to sleep mode when you are away for short periods of time

  2. Reduce Your Paper Waste.. Do you really have to print out every email and handout? You can reduce paper waste by deciding to go paperless wherever possible. You can try to:
    • Keep copies of important emails, files, and more on your computer
    • Don’t get any extra catalogs or magazines mailed to your office
    • Get your check directly deposited
    • Send company updates through email instead of on paper
    • Review any documents online instead of printing them out Home Page

  3. Prioritize Your Paper Use. If you do use paper on a daily basis then you can make eco-friendly paper choices. Here are some things you can do:
    • Buy recycled and chlorine-free paper
    • Try paper made from organic products like bamboo, cotton or hemp
    • Print on both sides of the paper
    • Shred old paper to use as packing material
    • Save and reuse old boxes
    • Use old sheets of paper for scrap paper or note-taking

  4. Recycle. There are many things in your office that you can recycle. If you don’t have a recycling station at work, start one on your own! You can get a few bins and post recycling guidelines above them. Some of them may include recycling:
    • Paper products like copy paper, envelopes, magazines, etc.
    • Cardboard boxes from shipped supplies
    • Soda cans and plastic bottles
    • Aluminum foil
    • Plastic bags
    • Ink cartridges

  5. Reduce Your Printer Use. The printer is one of the most used office items. Every day it cranks out tons of important faxes, emails and other documents. Here are some ways you make your printer use greener:
    • Try not to print in color
    • Use a printer that does double-sided copying
    • Print in draft mode
    • Use old paper with extra space to print small documents
    • Recycle ink and toner cartridges

  6. Maintain Healthy Air Flow. It’s already bad enough that you have to worry about air pollution every time you walk outside, but it’s also a big priority when you work inside. Here are some ways that you can maintain a healthy air flow in your office:
    • Use non-toxic cleaning products
    • Open your windows to increase air flow
    • Don’t smoke in or near the office
    • Never bring any type of aerosol can to work
    • Use an air purifier to get rid of contaminants

  7. Travel With Care. The first part of your work day starts with you getting to work, and for many people that means driving. Cars emit tons of carbon dioxide gases into the air, contributing to global warming. Here are some things you can do for a green ride:
    • Join a ride share group
    • Take the train, bus or subway
    • Ride a bike or walk if you live close enough
    • Invest in a green car like a hybrid
    • Reduce your travel by working from home whenever possible

  8. Green Your Desk...Literally. Get a plant and place it on or near your desk. Or, even better, buy plants for all of your neighbors. They will not only see this as a friendly gesture, but they’ll also have cleaner air to breathe! Plants absorb indoor air pollution and increase the flow of oxygen, so get a green accessory to compliment your desk!
  9. Eat Healthier.Everyone looks forward to their lunch break. If you manage to save money by not going out to eat every day then you probably pack your lunch. You can follow these lunch tips to have healthier eating habits:
    • Pack your lunch in a reusable lunch bag or box
    • If you bring your lunch in a paper or plastic bag, recycle it
    • Use containers and silverware that can be washed and used again
    • Switch to organic food and drinks
    • Drink from the fountain instead of brining water bottles
    • Recycle your soda cans, bottles and aluminum foil
    • Use a washable napkin instead of paper towels
    • Walk to a lunch eatery if you forgot to pack it

  10. Spread the Word. The best way to stay involved in the green scene at work is to get others involved. Share your practices and wisdom with your boss and coworkers. You can do this by:
    • Encouraging the office to join or start a recycling program
    • Purchasing company carbon credits
    • Buying eco-friendly office products
    • Setting up a carpool calendar
    • Getting everyone to pack their lunch and eat together

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Green Student U, an eco-friendly blog website for college students, is the original source for this article, shared with permission.

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Go Green at Work. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

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naina said...


Good post, makes us think steps that we can at our office to combat climate change.

To support the 'Go Green' movement at my end, I recently brought a electric bike from R Martin Bikes, and love the way it runs. Since my workplace is slightly far from my home I used to travel by a car, but now the enviornmentalist in me takes pride in using a zero pollution vehicle.

Nice to see other people sharing views to promote this cause. I'll be back to read more. Till then,

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