It’s that time of year -- you’re sitting at your desk and the sun is shining and you want to be outside to enjoy it. Well, you can. If you're already taking environmentally-friendly steps at home, just bring them to your school or place of work, thereby saving energy and creating a healthier workspace. Not only will making your space more energy efficient, it will also make it more eco-friendly and will enhance productivity. Being green from 8 to 5 will lessen your impact on the environment as a whole and reduce the costs of running a business.
One key ingredient to being green in the workspace is that you don't need to be in a management position to institute change. Your role in improving the energy efficiency and healthiness of your workplace is just as vital. In fact, change from the bottom-up is often a lot more effective. And just because you don't make the purchasing decisions doesn't mean that you can't influence them. If anything, do your research, get involved, point out the financial savings to management and enlist the enthusiasm of your team members or fellow students. There’s always the rule of “show, don’t tell”. By that logic, show by doing and create the momentum needed for a green wave.
For many people with desk jobs, the computer is absolutely necessary to get things done. Yet, this convenient and efficient piece of technology comes at a cost -- it is estimated that people waste over $1 billion in electricity every year just in computer use! To help conserve energy from your computer use, you can unplug it when necessary, invest in an energy saving monitor/printer, switch to the energy saving settings, turn down the brightness of your monitor, etc. Do everything you can to make sure that your laptop/desktop is also getting involved and is green.
Another big area of concern when it comes to the office space is….do you really have to print out every e-mail and handout that you receive? Reduce paper waste by deciding to go paperless wherever possible. Categorize your documents and save them electronically in folders on your desktop so that you can view them whenever you need to. If you do use paper on a daily basis, then make eco-friendly paper choices such as printing on both sides of the paper as well as using and purchasing recycled paper.
This time of year is allergy season, but what is worse than allergens is air pollution and how it affects you every time you walk outside. It’s also a big priority when you work inside. If you work in an office, cubicle, or workshop, it's likely that you're spending most of your time indoors. Invest in a air filter that will keep your workspace free of irritants, or take advantage of our next point….
Who said that the wonderful green of nature had to stay outside? Get a plant or several plants and place it on or near your desk. Plants do this lovely thing that absorbs indoor air pollution and increase the flow of oxygen, allowing for cleaner air to breath! They act as your own personal filter and keep you healthier in the long run. So get a green accessory to complement your desk and keep the air pollutant free!
Last but not least, for your lunch or snack break, be sure to eat healthy! Pack your food in recyclable paper bags or reusable containers that will last you forever. Your fellow co-workers will see that you are being very economical and will join you in your green crusade in the office space.