Taking green initiatives is not only being environmentally conscious but can also provide cost savings long term. Simple steps can become lifelong practices that help improve your office and environment. Below are some favorite tips and tricks to “green” your office space. Let us know your favorites and if you have more ideas to add.
Making Your Office Supplies Last Longer
Switch your plastic highlighters to pencil highlighters. Yes, they do exist! You no longer have to worry about them drying out. Once you come down to the end of the pencil highlighter you can compost them.
Paper and Filing Folders
No more space for filing folders in your file drawer? Here are a few things you can do to save space and paper:
Invest in a bleeding ink pen. They are way classier than your plastic pens. You can avoid hoarding cup loads of pens now.
Before purchasing a new piece of office furniture, think of ways to reduce the waste and cost of a new one. Is there anything online you can haul for free or at a reduced price? Office furniture is often listed online at sites like Craiglist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace. You’ll be surprised how many things you can get from the community for free if you just search. Reach out to other businesses that are renovating and you might be able to snag a deal. Or, you can reupholster or refinish your old furniture with new paint and hardware.
What to do with all of the business cards? Download an app that will store all of your business cards on your smart phone or tablet. It’s a great way to save everything digitally. If you can’t let them go because of a sentimental attachment you have, get a business card organizer binder or just keep the ones you know you’ll need for later in a box, or display them in a decorative glass vase.
Bring in Green Plants
There are a variety of office and desk plants you can get that are low maintenance. Succulents, cacti, bamboos, and spider plants are good examples. Research has shown that plants stimulate your mind as well as contribute oxygen to your environment.
Green Kitchen Suggestions
Use real mugs, silverware, plates, and bowls. Cleaning up doesn’t take much longer than throwing out paper utensils and you can use the walk to the sink as a break from your desk.
Did you know garbage companies charge business’ trash based on weight? There are many things you can recycle before it goes into the trash. So the less you trash you have, the more money you save on your garbage bill. Imagine at the end of the year how much you can save. That money you budgeted for trash can go towards other projects at your workplace.
Make sure there are labeled and colored recycling bins throughout the office space: each cubicle should have their own bin, 2 bins by the printer, one in the kitchen or lounge, one in each meeting room, and one in the lobby/waiting area. If your workplace needs help purchasing materials and supplies for better recycling, apply for grants like BizRecycling offered in Ramsey and Washington Counties. Connect with your local county to see if they have grants to help with recycling.
Recycling isn’t limited to plastic bottles, glass, and paper. You can apply that to organics as well. Coffee beans, tea bags, leftover food, banana and orange peels can all go into organics recycling where they are either composted or delivered to hog farms.
Check out BizRecycling if your workplace is on route or wants to become a green office!