10 Tips for Moving Your Office to Green

  • Turn off lights when a room will not be in use for 15 minutes or more.
  • At the end of the day, after you turn off your computer, be sure to turn off your power strip also.
  • And don’t forget to turn off your copy machine.
  • Print a document only when it’s truly necessary. When it is necessary, print on the front and back of each sheet of paper.
  • Place recycle bins throughout the office. When you make it just as convenient to put things into a recycle can as a trash can, people will recycle more.
  • When purchasing office supplies be sure to choose eco-friendly items.
  • Use a water filter rather than bottled water.
  • Car-pool with co-workers to and from meetings or use web-ex and video conferencing to avoid travelling altogether.
  • Purchase hand towels for your office kitchen space. Take turns taking them home to wash them.
  • Use energy efficient light bulbs.

Simple Ways to Reduce Office Paper Waste and Make Better Use of Paper (Source: NRDC)

Using Less and Reusing More

  • Use email instead of paper or faxes, both for internal memos and for communications with clients and customers.
  • Don't print email messages. Put the words "Don't print this email unless you really need to" at the bottom of all emails.
  • Print less: Keep mailing lists current. Don't print more copies than you need or order extra on outside print jobs.
  • Reuse what you can. Stock your fax machine with paper already printed on one side; reuse oversize envelopes and boxes; re-use one-sided "draft" paper in your printers.

Printers and Copiers

  • Purchase units that can print on both sides of a sheet of paper. Then set all computers and copiers to default to double-sided printing.
  • Save and collect A4 paper that's been printed on one side, restack it neatly, designate a paper drawer on each printer (or as many printers as practical) for this paper, and use it to print drafts.
  • Adjust the house style on word processing programs to use a slightly smaller font and slightly wider margins.
  • Work on drafts electronically, using "edit" and "comment" word-processing features, instead of working on paper.

Incoming Mail

  • Cut down on the number of periodical subscriptions you buy. Survey to see who subscribes to what, then trim duplicates and work out a sharing system. One way to share information is to circulate the table of contents for each periodical.
  • Reduce the amount of unwanted mail your company receives.

Office Kitchen

  • Stock the kitchen with reusable mugs, plates, bowls and utensils to discourage the use of paper and plastic disposables. Consider cloth napkins or use paper towels with high postconsumer recycled content.
  • Encourage employees who carry in lunches to use reusable bags and napkins.

Recycling More

  • Distribute recycling bins for paper to every workstation and make sure the cleaning crew knows what they're for.
  • Educate staff on what can and cannot be recycled.

Buying Better Paper

  • Buy paper with the highest percentage of postconsumer recycled content available, never settling for less than 30 percent for uncoated paper or 10 percent for coated stock.
  • Insist on "processed chlorine free" (PCF) paper.
  • Always avoid paper made from 100 percent virgin pulp.
  • If you do buy paper with virgin fiber content, be sure the virgin fiber comes from sustainably managed forests.
  • Create a corporate purchasing policy that clearly outlines your goals and preferences for paper buying.
  • On printed materials, include a line about the environmental characteristics of the paper you use.

If you have a choice, buy products wrapped in the least packaging. Buy in bulk or in larger containers.

Vitalis News - May 2019Vitalis News - May 2019
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