Here’s my list of how I stay green at the office. I think you’ll see I’m a bit obsessive, and I know there’s always room for more.
- I focus on helping values-driven clients that are adding something positive to the world.
- I work at home part of the time which eliminates some driving to work.
- I try to use my bicycle for transportation when weather and situations permit. (I could stand to do this more.)
- I offer meetings by phone or Skype even for local clients that could come to my office.
- I drive as little as possible and I drive a hybrid car.
- I choose local events or webinars over ones that require travel.
- I carpool or travel by train to necessary distant events.
- I use energy-efficient light bulbs in the office. (This made a surprising difference in my electric bill.)
- I chose the green energy option from my electricity supplier for both my home and downtown offices.
- I use an Energy Star rated computer and have it set to “hibernate” if I leave it idle too long.
- I have thermal windows and good insulation that keep the heating and cooling usage quite low.
- I track utility costs closely to provide a natural challenge for me to reduce usage each month.
- All of my client forms are online and rarely printed.
- I receive and pay most of my bills electronically.
- On the rare occasion when I print something, I use recycled paper and recycled ink cartridges.
- I reduce, reuse, and recycle whenever possible. And I don’t expect recycling to be enough to help the planet.
- When I need something new for the office, I look for used items before buying new.
- I don’t toss out paper until I’ve used the blank side for scratch paper.
- When I get mail I don’t want, I call and ask them to take me off the list.
- I use all-natural cleaning products.
- I stay updated on how to reduce my carbon footprint even further and try to incorporate new ideas as often as possible.
- I’m posting this list for transparency, so my prospective clients can make conscious buying decisions.
There’s a misconception that greening one’s business is expensive but most of it saves money.
I’m frugal by nature which just so happens to help the environment much of the time. I realize though that sometimes you have to invest in energy-efficient upgrades but they usually pay off in the long run.
For ideas and practical reasons to green your organization, see related post.