We all have to share the earth - and it’s our responsibility to take care of it!
One of the best places you can start having an impact in going green is in the place where you (likely) spend the majority of your active day - the office.
It may not immediately spring to mind for most of us, but your work office can easily morph into one of the least energy-efficient and eco-friendly areas in your daily life. The office environment offers plenty of opportunities for wasted resources that could actually have an impact on the planet.
So why not start there?
The world wide web offers up plenty of resource guides with hints on how to make your workspace greener. Here are some of our favorites!
You may (or may not be) surprised that a website that calls itself “Tree Hugger” would have some incredibly valuable tips, hints and tricks for staying green at work.
There are many fascinating instructions on this website, including: optimizing the energy settings for computers and other devices, keeping things digital and dematerialized whenever possible, buying work clothes from thrift stores, using green materials and working from home.
Are you absolutely determined to turn your office into a veritable green paradise? Here’s a great way to start; this article from the Mother Nature Network has 12 helpful steps to get started on the way to green happiness.
The WikiHow website delivers step-by-step instructions on solving problems and bettering your life; they also offer an entire section on working to go green in the office. Some of the steps include turning off all peripherals when not in use, reducing printer use, reducing paper waste and developing a good airflow.
The American Express “Small Business Open Forum” website is full of some really intriguing suggestions for small businesses, and also has an enormous (30 different hints!) section for office workers looking to be a tad more environmentally conscious.
It's a strong resource with everything from stocking reusable pens and keeping tabs on the supply closet to updating mailing lists and eliminating screen savers.
Earth 911 is - as you might gather from the name - naturally concerned about the state of the planet we’re living in. Therefore, they’ve gathered ten good tips to help office workers cut down on all of the waste that occurs in their places of employment - packing your own lunch, green your commute, use paperless notes and influence your co-workers (among many other good ones).
The Nature Conservancy is a dedicated force working to help the environment and the planet; they, too, are concerned about the impact that the workforce might have on Earth.
This “How to Green Your Office” article details several tips that will help the office be at least a little more nature-friendly, including bringing in a plant for your desk, greening up your commute, saving paper and cutting down on office and catalog subscriptions.
For those building up their own business - or even those looking to get into building up their business career - the “Entrepreneur” online features are a very valuable resource. Here, they break down some of the best ideas for creating a greener workspace, among them going all-digital, using double sided printing, using extensive daylight and developing green marketing tools.
The “Sustainable Business Toolkit” website is a treasure trove of green tips, tricks and ideas that will benefit the eco-friendly practices of offices. This is a detailed list of 25 very good ones, ranging from the practical to the “Huh, I should have thought of that!” like carpools, a green-friendly email signature, using green web hosting and removing personalized wastebins.
There are plenty of practical and intriguing green tips here on the Green Fun Times Guide, although there are (arguably) a few more fun websites out there on the internet. However, these five tips are a real good start for any office.
“Recycle Nation,” sadly, is not the revised title of a new Janet Jackson album - rather, it’s another nice website with plenty of ideas about integrating more recycling into your daily life. The five tips here touch on using less resources, going paperless, and integrating in recycled products.
Forbes Magazine is one of the gold standards when it comes to business in the country, and if you get beyond the intrusive ad at the beginning of the page (it’s annoying - warning) there’s plenty of good information on going eco-friendly at work to be found here.
Among the most interesting ones: switching to bio-degradable cleaners, using CFL or LED lights, or developing “outside the box” recycling methods.
From the consultant Nathaniel Richman comes this excellent guide to beginning the greening of your office space. There are some excellent ones included in this list, from bringing in eco-friendly food choices and instituting a casual dress code to bringing in fair-trade drinks and using non-toxic office cleaners.
Again, a good point to emphasize: a green office is usually a happy office, and a happy office is usually one that is productive. This article from the very fresh-sounding “Office Renew” website speaks to the idea of green offices helping to enrich the work of the people that are in them.
Examples of Wonderful Green Offices
There are many amazing corporations out there that are doing some fantastic work to get their offices up to elite eco-friendly standards. Here’s just a little selection of some of the coolest green offices from around the world. You may be able to borrow a few ideas for your own place of employment!
This list of the best green offices in the world includes some genuinely striking advances, including an office furnished with refurbished material and one with “dried Taiwanese grass lawns” as the walls and closet.
From Green Biz comes this top-10 list of the World’s Greenest Offices, including the LEED Platinum Tapiei 101, the daylight-delivering Cooper Carry Atlanta office, and the extremely eco-friendly Christman Company building in Lansing, Michigan.
Are you a dedicated Pinterester? If so, here’s the place to go and get some of those vital tips and tricks you need to turn your office green and gorgeous.
Adding plants to your office is a quick and easy way to increase the area’s green sensibility and boost the atmosphere in the work environment. This article from Earth 911 details the best plants you can pick up.