"Go-Green” Strategies for Office Managers

"Go-Green” Strategies for Office Managers

Going “green” doesn’t have to be radical — office managers can make a gradual shift to energy-conserving changes one change at a time.

A recent Time magazine article titled “Going Green at the Office” noted that one office worker can use a quarter of a ton of office materials in a year — including 10,000 pieces of copier paper.

Heating, cooling and powering office spaces are responsible for almost 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and take up more than 70 percent of total electricity usage. Computers alone spew 1.3 billion tons of COs a year, and computers in the office setting burn $1 billion worth of electricity annually — a figure that accounts for the time they are idle.

Simple tips for an environmentally friendly office include switching to compact florescent light bulbs (CFL’s) rather than energy-draining bulbs. These bulbs last 10 times longer and save on electric bills. Turning out lights in rooms not in use saves energy and money as well.

Also, recycling is an easy way to go green. Sort and recycle glass, plastic and paper products, and monitor paper products used by employees — everything from copy paper to kitchen supplies — and evaluate options to reduce consumption.

Programmable heating and cooling systems are a quick way to make offices more energy efficient. During summer when no one is in the office, managers can program the office to 85 degrees and lower it to 78 degrees one hour before the office reopens. An “Energy Star” certified thermostat can help.

Printers are an area where an office’s carbon footprint can be reduced. Office manager should evaluate ink jet vs. laser printers, because while the original price of an ink jet printer is minimal, ink is expensive. Also, staff should be reminded to print only as necessary, and printer use should be monitored and evaluated.
To learn more about going green to reduce overall environmental impact and promote environmental stewardship, visit www.regeneration.org/tips or www.greenlivingideals.com.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a two-part series on “Going Green in the Office Setting” that will be followed by a “Green Tip” in each issue of Best Practice.

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