January 22, 2015 | 3 minutes

Walk the Walk: Go Green

By Nathan Strum

Walk the Walk: Go Green

The “Going Green” movement has slowly been taking over, but in this New Year it is going to begin to be a way of life. Whether you are seeking to save money or save energy, being eco-friendly around the office will help control the ecological footprint at a cost-effective rate. Luckily, it is simple to incorporate easy routines in your office space. Here are a few tips that ease the transition.

Optimize Energy

It is pretty safe to say that for the most part, computers are the essential device in our workplace. The first thing to do is to optimize your energy settings. For example, set your devices to their energy saving state. Likewise, when you leave for the day and your go-greencomputer is not in use, if your computer is on “standby” it will just continue to pull power. For this same reason, leaving electronics such as coffee machines or other appliances will pull energy day and night. Decopedia weighs in, “Nearly 30 percent of energy consumed by commercial buildings is wasted, and about 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions come from office buildings.”

Conserve Light

By the same token, conserving light is also an easy switch. Staples recommends, “Perform an energy audit to uncover key energy and cost-saving opportunities, such as improving air sealing and installing compact fluorescent lightbulbs (CFLs).” Even simpler, make it a habit to turn off your light or to take advantage of daylight when you can.

Save Paper, Go Digital

Just by looking around your workspace, you can notice how many items are made out of paper. According to Ecology.com, nearly 4 billion trees are cut around the world for paper use. From books to printer paper, paper is everywhere, and we can minimize our consumption by transitioning to digital files.  With the Digital Era at its prime, it is simple to email employee schedules, double think printing a proposal and instead send it via email. Now, there are also E-Signatures. Little things like these can start a positive habit that reduces ink, paper and other costly items.

Green Web Hosting

We have all heard the typical, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” line or other ways to lighten the ecological footprint, but most people tend to overlook the amount of energy that goes into a website. WebHosting Secret Revealed breaks it down, “It is said that the amount of energy consumed by the US datacenters is equivalent to that consumed by 5 million houses put together. If all of this energy is to come from conventional, non-renewable sources like burning of coals, gas fired furnaces and generators; obviously you are not going to appreciate it.” With a green web hosting site it diminishes the use of carbon emitting generators and instead uses solar and wind power. Go green and use an eco-label on your website.

Lunch Time

Possibly the easiest way to eat the greenest is to bring your lunch to work in a reusable container. Treehugger.com states, “Getting delivery and takeout almost inevitably ends with a miniature mountain of packaging waste.” In addition, providing reusable plates and utensils will save you from buying these items over and over again. If you would like to take it one step further, biking or walking to nearby restaurants is also a good idea.

Lastly, encourage everyone in the office to participate with going green.

 

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