We all spend a lot of time focused on making our homes green, and keeping our families safe. Often, though, we do not consider the impact the rest of our time spent can have on the environment. Consider this: The average American spends aproximately 8.6 hours a day at work. That's more time than we spend on all of our other activites combined! With all this time at the office, it's important to take some time to make sure your office is as environmentally responsible as possible.
Environmental responsibility at the corporate level has become important over the last few years as the economy has changed and environmental issues have become a priority. Has your company taken a moment to evaluate what their carbon footprint is on the world? The website from Renewable Choice Energy has a great Environmental Impact Calculator, that gives you a good estimate of the footprint your company is creating.
After you take a look at what your current footprint is, take some time to evaluate how you can reduce your impact. There are many different ways that you can do this, such as:
- Installing solar panels to offset your energy consumption. Here at NEW, we have one of the largest solar panel installations in Boulder County, utilizing the beautiful Colorado sunshine to make our office a little greener!
- Moniter your light usage. Install motion-detecting light switches in low traffic rooms, such as closets, bathrooms, hallways, and breakrooms.
- Lower the thermostat. Dropping your theromstat two degrees will save you up to 10% on your energy bills annually. Program your heating and cooling systems to automatically shut off during non-business hours.
- Replace CRT monitors with flat screens. They use 1/3 of the energy of the old, clunky computer screens, and give you more desk space!
- Recycle and Compost! Set up bins in your breakroom for recycling paper, plastic, and cardboard, and compost bins for your food scraps! This will drastically decrease the amount of trash that you throw away each week.
- Use reusable or compostable cups, plates, and utensils. Reusing a waterbottle will cut down on disposable plastic cup consumption. Consider using compostables instead of disposable dishes. Even better, bring plates and silverware in, and wash them daily to eliminate trash.
- Paint rooms with lighter wall colors. Lighter paints will allow the walls to reflect light better, requiring less light fixtures.
- Keep plants in your office. Not only do they make for great decorations, they recycle carbon dioxide into fresh oxygen, making your office space much healthier. Now that's a breath of fresh air!
- Use environmentally-friendly office supplies. Refill ink cartridges when possible. Use recycled paper, pens, and other office supplies. Eliminate the use of supplies that have no green alternative, such as rubber bands.
- If possible, telecommute. Working from home reduces the carbon emissions from your daily commute. Plus, it's an excuse to work in your pajamas!
- Consider other modes of transportation. Carpooling, busses, bikes, or walking to work are all a great way to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Use green cleaning supplies to keep your office sparkling. Reducing the amount of chemicals you are exposing yourself to is important, as well as reducing the amount of toxics that are introduced into our water systems. Products such as BOULDER Cleaners are a healthy and affordable option, with great cleaning power. They smell great, and will leave your office sparkling clean!