Moving towards a Green Office: Eco-Friendly Office Tips

Leica M9 Sample by bfishadow (CC BY 2.0)

Moving towards a greener lifestyle is vital in this day and age. We choose greener food options, make our homes greener, but what about the office? A green office is one of the best ways to make your lifestyle more sustainable. You might think you work in a green office already, but there’s always room for improvement! Here are a few ways to get moving towards a green office:

Eco-friendly Green Office Habits

A lot of our waste has more to do with our habits in the office than anything else. In order to have a truly green office, it’s important to consider the habits you’re keeping.

Recycling is an important part of a green office! (Photo by:
  • First things first, make recycling efficient at your green office. Have a recycling bin for paper and plastics available in easy to access places in order to make recycling both simple and efficient.
  • Send emails and share documents online rather than printing them out at your green office. Always remember to consider the environment before printing anything.Print on both sides of the paper, and any misprints can be reused as scrap paper for your green office.
  • Go digital! Have a virtual conference instead of in person conferences in your green office. Use webcams to have a face-to-face conference or have a teleconference.
  • Turn off any computers, monitors, or printers if entirely possible in your green office. There are certain appliances that cannot be turned off for one reason or another, but any that do not have to be on should be off to converse energy. If you cannot turn off the computer, turn off the monitor at least. Consider hooking up computers to a power cord strip to entirely cut off the power when you leave your green office.
  • Cut commuting by organizing a carpool to your green office. Also, with today’s technologies, it’s possible to work from home instead of coming in on some days.
  • If your green office has windows, utilize the natural light and keep the lights turned off.
Natural Light
A green office utilizes natural lighting. (Photo by: creativecommons)

Eco-friendly Office Supplies

It’s often small things like office supplies that can make the biggest difference for a green office. Simply changing out some of your current office supplies with more eco-friendly choices is a huge step towards a green office.

  • Use recycled paper for all printing in your green office. Almost all major office supplies stores now carry recycled paper. Look for paper that has a  high percentage of post-consumer content and minimum chlorine bleaching. And don’t forget to recycle your paper in your green office when you’re done with it!
  • Invest in energy efficient appliances that have the EnergyStar approval for your green office’s kitchen and printing needs.
  • Install compact fluorescent bulbs to replace your incandescent bulbs in your green office. You’ll even save money down the road.
  • Consider installing a green electric cool air hand dryer or perhaps getting recycled paper towels in the restrooms to dry your hands.
  • No green office is complete without some actual green plants! Try adding some green office plants, if only to add some literal green to your office. Having a little bit of nature in the midst of all the technology will not only brighten the look of the office, but it can be a great reminder of your efforts to live and work in a green office.
green office plant
A green office plant to brighten your green office! (Photo by: bfishadow)

An Eco-Friendly Green Office Kitchen

A green office isn’t complete without a green kitchen for employees.

  • Use a water filtration system as opposed to individual bottles of water.
  • Instead of plastic cups, use reusable mugs that can be washed. If mugs are not an option, be sure to invest in cups that are recyclable or biodegradable. Avoid all styrofoam.
  • The same goes for plates and utensils: try to use washable utensils, plates, and containers that can be washed and stored at work. If this is not an option, use recyclable or biodegradable utensils, cups, and plates.
  • Trade out a coffee vending machine for an office coffee maker. Encourage people to reuse mugs. Switch to organic shade-grown coffee and organic teas that are produced in energy efficient ways.
NorthStar Moving Corp mugs
Check out these awesome mugs that NorthStar Moving ® uses in our green office kitchen!

Got any more ideas on how to have a green office? I’d love to hear about your green office in the comments!