14 tips for staying green at the office

Going green is sometimes just a case of using our common sense. But when we’re so busy, it’s easy to forget some of the small, but important, things we can all do as we go about our day-to-day tasks in the office and at home. Here are some green tips, courtesy of Grand and Toy, that can easily implemented in most spaces.

1.    Instead of using paper or Styrofoam cups, switch to reusable mugs or travel mugs.

2.    If you drive to work by yourself, why not car pool with co-workers who live close by? Take turns driving – or even walk, bike or take public transportation.

3.    Rather than throwing away empty ink and toner cartridges, recycle them.  Many office suppliers offer programs – such as Grand & Toy’s ‘THINK!’ – created specifically to make it simple for businesses to recycle their empty ink and toner cartridges.

4.    Use chlorine-free, paper-based products, or supplies made with a high percentage of post-consumer waste materials.

5.    Save money on heating costs by keeping the drapes and blinds at work open on sunny days – the natural light will warm the office. To keep the heat in, close the blinds when the sun goes down.

6.    Instead of using the air conditioner, install a ceiling fan at work – they cool air in the summer and move hot air off the ceiling in the winter.

7.    Filling your office space with plants is a great way to keep your workplace cool and will save your company money on power costs because you won’t have to use the air conditioning as much.

8.    Instead of leaving your computer on, shutdown at the end of the day. Letting your computer go into sleep mode still draws power from the outlet.

9.    Instead of operating energy-depleting, older office equipment, lower your energy usage by upgrading to computers, photocopiers and printers that are certified as being energy efficient.

10.    Rather than leaving the lights on, switch to motion-sensor lighting and turn off desk lamps at the end of the day. Installing compact fluorescent lights at work is also one of the easiest ways to reduce your office’s environmental footprint. Just one of these bulbs can use up to 75 per cent less electricity than a standard bulb.

11.    Donate old office equipment to a local school or non-profit organization rather than throwing it away. Local electronics dealers may also take back old devices for recycling.

12.    Rather than printing and/or photocopying multi-page documents on one side of paper, set your office printer/photocopier to print double-sided by default and save half the amount of paper your company would normally use.

13.    Instead of printing email, create a folder on your computer and organize it into subfolders by name or subject, and refer back to the folder when you need to draw information.

14.    Instead of using fresh paper for your fax machine, start a box next to the fax machine for recycled office paper and use this stock for incoming faxes.