Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How to Go Green at Work

Eco-steps are not just for the home front.  You can carry eco-steps principles just about anywhere-- even to work!  My friends at Treehugger and Planet Green put together a handy little list of things you can do to help lighten your load on the planet and your pocket!

1) Work from home / telecommute (my personal fave).  44 million Americans telecommute.  With all of the communications media available, (instant messaging, video conferencing, phone conferences, online classes), it's hard to argue against!  It saves time, money and is better for the planet.  Just make sure your boss knows how to get in touch with you! 

2) Use power strips.  Plug all that high-tech equipment into a power strip, then power down when not in use.

3) Keep it digital.  Do you really *need* to print out hard copies of emails, presentations, etc?  If not, then use digital storage to keep your documents and files tidy.  It will save trees and take up a lot less room!

4) Go recycled.  If you must use paper, use recycled paper.  Also, refill printer cartridges whenever possible and always recycle them when they've outlived their useful life.

5) Carpool or take public transit.  If telecommuting isn't an option, consider carpooling or checking into your local bus or train routes and schedules.  You may find a viable alternative to driving to work. And, you might make some new friends. 

6) Get Thrifty!  You can still look sharp and work-worthy by getting gently used clothing from your local thrift, second-hand or consignment shops.   You'll save a ton of money and can feel good about not feeding the cycle of consumption.

7) Bring your lunch.  Use reusable and earth-friendly containers to bring your lunch with you-- including a cloth or washable napkin.  Think about all of the plastic ware, plates, and take-out containers you'll keep out of the landfills.  You'll also save a boatload of money by bringing your own lunch with you!

8) Switch to CFL light bulbs.  They use 75% less energy than regular incandescent.

9) Spread the word.  Share your tips with your co-workers and colleagues.  They may roll their eyes at you, and even if they do, they'll be learning some good stuff and you'll be leading by example!   At least they'll be *thinking* about it every time they see you bring your lunch (especially if you remind them), or carpool, or show off your spiffy new-to-you duds from the local consignment / thrift / second hand store.  Your good earth deeds will catch on.

Learn more at or  Happy Eco-Stepping! 

1 comment:

  1. Excellent list Amy! Just a few to add to the list for anyone with a desk job...

    If you do not have a power strip, turn off your computer AND monitor when you leave for the night. Just putting it on "stand by" still uses a lot of electricity.

    Also unplug cell phone and device adapters when not in use. Turn off any lights in your office or cube or conference rooms when you are done using them!

    If you currently use disposable cups and stirrers for coffee or tea, stop now! Buy a mug and a spoon. Convince your company to stop supplying disposable cups and instead stock mugs or cups that can be washed. If disposable must be supplied, then at least try to convince them to use cups made of recycled materials and NO STYROFOAM!

    These are all good for the environment AND they save the company money!