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Ecology Ideas for The Office

A greener workplace can mean a lighter ecological footprint, a healthier and more productive place to work, and good news for the bottom line. From daily smog to the rising threat of global warming, it’s pretty obvious that we all need to clean up our workplace. Copiers, computers, even old floppy disks, can make a huge impact on the environment.

Whether you’re the boss or the employee, whether your office is green already or still waiting to see the light. Here’s are a few ways to reduce your office’s effect.


Turn off all computers, printers, photocopiers, and other equipment that doesn’t need to be left on at the end of the day and leave them off until you need to use them again. Check that all computers/monitors are set to their most energy efficient settings (e.g., monitor set to shut off after 15 minutes of no use).

Small changes in air conditioning, lighting, and fixtures can make a huge difference in your energy consumption

When leaving a room for more than a few minutes, switch off the lights. Use compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent ones. Take advantage of natural sunlight as much as possible.


Nearly every office, large or small, relies on large quantities of paper. Read on-screen and only print documents when absolutely necessary. Use only 100% recycled content paper products in the office Use both sides of paper Shred and reuse unwanted paper , Though the paperless office may still seem unrealistic, at least try to cut down on printed material when possible.


You may not consider commuting to be a part of your office’s environmental impact, but your transportation policies can make a large difference. Encourage telecommuting, biking, and other green transportation options.


“Reduce, reuse, recycle” means more than just throwing old notepaper in the blue bin (though you needn’t stop doing that). Really think about everything you use. Do you need disposable cups at the water cooler? Can you use the other side of the used sheets of paper you’ve thrown in the recycle bin? Australia has added a fourth R – Refuse. Simply put: Don’t buy stuff you don’t need. And, when you do make a purchase, bring your own bags.


Manufacturing office equipment contributes greatly to reducing air quality and landfill waste. Consider these tips when you’re purchasing equipment for your business, be sure to purchase something that will last and not become obsolete quickly. That way, you’ll avoid having to buy new equipment and contributing to manufacturing waste.


Like other appliances, computers can be major energy hogs. Adjust screen savers, energy plans and quality to streamline your company’s computer efficiency. Unplug computers when not in use, consider buying laptops instead of desktops, as they generally use less energy and are more efficiently made.


In the bathroom you can use cloth towels or hand dryers. Reduce the amount of water used per flush by putting a brick in the tank. If you are replacing toilets, look for low-flush models, or ones with a half-flush option. Toilet flushing is the largest water consumer in office buildings. Make sure all taps have low-flow aerators installed to reduce water wastage.


Every little thing adds up when it comes to office waste. Use simple cleaning supplies, provide reusable dishes, silverware and glasses for luncheons, provide filtered water, organic coffee and tea and buy sugar and cream dispensers

Make your office literally green with plants! They absorb airborne pollutants (which are rampant with off-gassing office furniture), and emit healthy negative ions and oxygen into the air. Having some green plants in the office also reduces that “sterile” look, making it more comfortable for everybody.

Are you worried about the cleanliness of your space?

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