Four Ways to Create an Earth Smart Office

Blending eco-friendly principles into your daily office routine not only translates into a lighter ecological footprint, but they can also boost your productivity. According to a recent study from the University of California – Los Angeles, companies that voluntarily adopt green practices have employees who are 16 percent more productive than companies without green practices.

If you’re looking to help your office go “green,” consider these four easy-to-implement tips:

  1. Watch Your Waste – Set up separate bins for plastic, aluminum and food waste in the kitchen or break room, and make sure recycling bins are located prominently around the office with signs so employees know what can and can’t be recycled. Decrease your eco-footprint even further by replacing disposable items with reusable versions. For instance, if disposable cups or plastic dishes are used in the kitchen, replace them with dishware that can be washed and reused.

  2. Make a Power Play – While today’s offices rely heavily on computers and tech equipment, there’s no reason to keep these devices fully powered around the clock – especially when you consider the cost. Office equipment alone typically accounts for more than 20 percent of the energy used in most offices. Save energy and lighten costs by setting all equipment to energy-saving settings, and powering off at the end of the day. Printers, scanners and other pieces of infrequently used equipment can remain unpowered until they're needed. And of course, don’t forget to switch off the lights when you’re headed out of the office for a while – mid-day meetings and lunch dates count!

  3. Rethink Recyclable – When you recycle copy paper it gets used again and again in other products – up to seven times before the original wood fibers break down. And, while using recycled paper is part of a great eco-friendly strategy, non-recycled products (with new wood fibers) are important to keep the recycling loop going. If all we used was recycled paper, we would quickly run out of fiber sources! To be the most environmentally-conscious, it’s best to use a mix of certified recycled papers, like Boise® ASPEN® Recycled Copy, and responsibly sourced non-recycled papers, like Boise® X-9® Multi-Use Copy. Also, you should always print two-sided on multipurpose paper, but when you end up with one-sided copies, reuse them for notes, sketches or process drafts before recycling!

  4. Travel Smart – Alternative transportation has a significant impact when you consider the number of people commuting daily. If a train isn’t available and bicycling isn’t appealing, try carpooling with coworkers. Not only does this help reduce air pollution, but buddying up allows you to take advantage of high-occupancy traffic lanes and save money on gas. The time can also be used to discuss work-related products and updates – eliminating the need for more meetings throughout the day.