With all the time you spend at the office, wouldn’t it be so much more enjoyable knowing it’s your little eco-oasis? Roll up your sleeves, put yourself on deadline, and follow these simple steps for creating a healthier and more productive work environment.
Less Paper = More Trees
First, start with cutting down on the amount of paper used in your office. Send e-mails to communicate with people instead of printing and sending out letters. Save important documents to your computer to view later and reduce printing. These simple solutions will cut down on the amount of paper products used daily in your office by more than half. If printing is necessary, try using recycled paper. If you need to send it, use eco-friendly envelopes, which are constructed from post consumer waste material. In fact, they can be used twice and then recycled.
Get Green Office Furniture
There are plenty of office supplies available that can aid you in your quest to become more environmentally friendly. There are many ecologically-sound desks made with Rainforest Alliance Certified Smartwood. This wood is 100 percent formaldehyde-free plywood and is stained with 100 percent non-toxic water-based stain. Each piece of furniture ships flat to conserve packing material and reduce waste. Instead of purchasing a computer chair solely based on looks, get a chair that uses recycled materials and eco-friendly fibers. Bamboo is also a great material to look for because it is resilient, grows fast and improves soil quality. They look great and also go easier on Mother Earth.
There is an uprising of recycled products out there. Try getting supplies that are recyclable or consist of 100 percent recycled material. After use, recycle the products so that company can make more. This will cut down on waste and keep trees in tact.
For a quick and easy adjustment, change your office light bulbs with fluorescent lights. These lights may initially cost a little more, but last between four and ten times longer than normal lights and use about 25 percent less energy. Also, light can be added by painting your walls with eco-friendly paints made of natural and organic raw materials. You can purchase these types of paints at local stores, such as Park + Vine downtown.
Get out Your Green Thumb
Plants have been referred to as “nature’s clean air machines” and studies have shown that plants improve the quality of the air by effectively removing carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide among other pollutants from the atmosphere. Stop by City Roots, an urban garden shop located on Vine St. downtown, and pick up a cute desk plant on your way to the office!
Also available at Park + Vine are briefcases and computer cases made entirely of recycled materials. And for you heavy drinkers out there, Park + Vine has an entire section devoted to reusable water bottles and thermal bottles.
And if you don’t think small steps can truly add up to impressive results, take for example a move to using a staple-less stapler. According to greenisuniversal.com, we would save 120 tons of steel if every office worker used one less staple a day for a year. That’s about the equivalent of 25 SUVs!
So, now you have several ways to reduce your ecological footprint, even if you can’t reduce your time in a cubicle. But don’t forget to turn off the lights when you leave your spruced up eco-office!