The Business of Green

Use these five tips to make your workplace more sustainable.

by Michelle LaBrosse

Courtesy djcodrin/

Allow your business’ bottom line and sustainable mindset to merge. Spread word of your company’s green initiatives.

In the workplace, the bottom line often overshadows “green thinking.” If selling products and managing accounts takes priority above saving paper and reducing energy in your company, now’s the time to take action. Before you leave your own green home in the city and cross the threshold of that high-rise office building, think about what you can do to promote a more sustainable workplace.

Here are five tips to equip you in the battle:

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1. Become a green materials maven.

Workplaces are often waste-producing machines. Encourage your office to purchase eco-friendly supplies or supplies made from made from recycled materials. Also set up a recycle bin for your co-workers to toss old papers into. Here are some other things you can do:

  • Use coffee mugs instead of paper or Styrofoam.
  • Use refillable pens rather than disposable pens.
  • Use recycled paper for everything from toilet paper to paper for printing.
  • Use natural cleaning products.
  • Print double-sided.
  • Support and buy the products from vendors and suppliers who engage in eco-friendly practices.

2. Pack it green.

Packing materials for products can produce a lot of waste. Use recycled materials, like old newspapers, for packing, or purchase biodegradable packing peanuts or eco-friendly soft foam.

3. Zap the energy.

With computers running, phones ringing, copiers and fax machines buzzing, and lights illuminating every desk, your office has a major reliance on the energy grid. While this energy is necessary to keep business moving as usual, encourage your office to take steps to reduce its impact.

  • Look for an energy supplier producing green energy in your area.
  • Put automatic timers or sensor lights in your bathroom, conference rooms or spaces that are not occupied the majority of the day.
  • Set up work spaces so they can take advantage of as much natural light as possible.
  • Use energy-saving light bulbs.
  • Switch off computers, photocopiers and other equipment when they are not being used.
  • Buy office equipment with the best energy ratings.
  • If you are a small or home-based office, learn how to produce your own energy. Visit Cheetah Power for more information.

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