10 ways to make your office green
By Kukil Bora, SiliconIndia | Wednesday, 12 January 2011, 00:54 Hrs | 5 Comments
Use recyclable office papers
Wastage paper in offices is one of the main issues which need to be eradicated. Recycled versions of paper, envelopes, pads, post-it notes are available these days. You can buy recycled paper made from a high percentage of post-consumer recycled content.
Use of soy-based ink
Ink made from soybeans is better for the environment. It has lower levels of volatile organic compounds than ink made from petroleum. Apart from this, it makes paper easier to recycle because it's easier to remove in the de-inking process. Another key aspect of soy-based ink is that it produces brighter and sharper colors.
Use laptops instead of desktops
Compared to desktops, laptops consume less energy. Laptops run on just a third of the energy used by a desktop PC. Compared to desktop computers the components in laptops are smaller and more efficient - requiring less electricity to run and are therefore responsible for less CO2 emissions.
Monitor lighting usage
It's very important to cut down on unnecessary use of lighting in order to save electricity. Here replacing tungsten bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps can be a better option as they consume 20 percent less energy. It can also make an immediate cost savings of between 50-80 percent as well.
Put your computer and equipment on a power strip
There are many devices that consume electricity even when they are not in use. Putting a power strip between the outlet and your equipment can be very useful here as it helps you fully shut off anything that doesn't need to be running.
Turn off devices
Turn off the lights and all electrical appliances when not in use or when you are leaving office. You must set computers and other equipment to go to sleep after a period of inactivity or turn them completely off. IBM estimates it saved $17.8 million worldwide in 1991 alone by encouraging employees to turn off equipment and lights when not needed.
Go for green power
There are many utility companies that offer a renewable power option for a small increase in price. If you can make a much larger investment, you can go for installing solar panels or solar hot water at your office.
Ditch the bottled water habit
The longer you have that bottle, the more likely it is to leach gross chemicals into your water. Moreover, offices are major offenders in terms of throwing plastic water bottles. A good way out is to get a filter, and have everyone use a ceramic or glass cup.
Do away with vending machine waste
No matter how useful a coffee-making vending machine is, it is not at all good for the environment. It produces a lot of waste. If the office vending machine dispenses its own cups, it is essential to make sure they are recyclable. Apart from this, these machines use more energy than is needed to perform the task.
A green office coordinator
Assigning someone whose sole job is to keep track of office recycling and energy use would be very helpful for the attempt to make the office environment-friendly. Paying somebody to look into such matters may sound irrelevant to many, but it will worth it when you get your utility bill.
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