Monday, September 26, 2011

Green your office -start today

There are always ways you can green your office regardless of where you are but obviously if you have a home office things can be more easy. Here are some tips on how to green your office.
  • Choose natural lighting which is better for your sight as well. When you need to use artificial light, make sure your bulbs are energy efficient LED (light emitting diode) rather than incandescent light. Other popular environmentally friendly but still containing mercury are compact fluorescent light (CFL). If you use these, you must ensure correct disposal. IKEA usually recycle those as well.
  • Go digital and save paper and ink. Do you really need to print documents, emails and notes? Think of all the documents you can read, process and store in digital form. I have not had a printer on my desk for the past 3 years and I go out to do my prints if needed, which is not very often. This forces me to be very creative and stay fit when Im not.
  • Reduce the use of CDs or use rewritable ones so you can use them again. There is so much material out there that one can download directly through internet without the need of purchasing a CD. From music and movies to computer programs. Storage of files is also better on external drives than on single CDs. They contain toxic substances and recycling of used CDs is not always available.
  • Avoid purchasing unnecessary appliances, make the best use of the ones you have. Eg. I use my camera instead of a scanner. 
  • Reuse paper and, if you need to print, print on both sides. 
  • Use greener paper, one that is non-bleached (chlorine-free) and FSC certified or recycled paper. 
  • Select eco-stationary that can be made of treeless materials including bamboo, elephant dung or even stone (this one employs a very eco friendly production process). Corn starch is used to make paper, pens, or cups.  
  • Stay informed since not all paper that is made of these 'green' resources, is eco-friendly. The production process and transport are to be taken into consideration. So check the labels.
  • Recycle all - your stationary, batteries, CDs, old computers, printers, telephones, and other gadgets. Never throw them into conventional gardbage. Most western countries have a place where you can take your old appliances some sellers will take your old applience for recycling. So do your research to find your recycling stations.
  • Reduce the use of batteries or use rechargeable ones. Many fancy gadgets and office appliances run with batteries which account for a considerable amount of toxic waste. If you need to use them avoid batteries for only one use. 
  • Go solar when you can. Logitech's wireless solar keyboard is only one example.
  • Switch off all appliances when not in use. You might want to install a central switch.
  • Avoid drinking water in plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are a highly polluting item and water in them is not always safe. Sit a water jar on your desk.
  • Consider more sophisticated ways of greening your office such as green server and green webhosting. 
  • Be mindful and creative, find more greening tips for your office.

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