“Going Green” is a phrase used a lot these days. Many companies (and individuals) are committed to try and make their office or home more enviromentally friendly. Using recycled paper, special light bulbs, etc. are small steps everyone can take to help minimize the impact we are having on our environment.
“Going Green” might seem like a daunting task sometimes, but the truth is that it is not as hard as it sounds, and doesn’t have to impact the way your company runs or delivers service. Just a few simple changes around your office will help it become more “Green”.
1. Put your equipment to sleep- but don’t shut it off completely
It might be seem counter-inuitive to say that you want to try and save energy, but you should leave your equipment on when you leave, and maybe it is, but there is good reason for it.
You need to leave your equipment on at night, because most of the time, updates and maintenance on computers is conducted at night. Instead of taking time during normal business hours, many IT companies will set updates to run after-hours, so as not to disturb the work day for clients. If you are a Network Depot customer, you will see a little pop-up on your screen once a week that reminds you to leave your computer on when you leave for the night.
So how do you go greener while still getting your equipment to run as efficiently as possible? Two words- Sleep Mode. For your computer, faxes, printers, etc., make sure that sleep mode is activated. That way, when there are long periods of inactivity, the equipment will go to sleep. It will cut down dramatically on the amount of energy used by all the different equipment.
These days, there is no reason to buy a separate piece of equipment for everything you do. Look through your office to see what could be grouped together. For example, instead of having a separate fax machine, scanner, copier, and printer, you can buy one machine that does it all.
And, unless an employee will need to use something multiple times during the day, there is no reason employees can’t share equipment. For example, perhaps your accounting department needs their own scanner and printer, but the rest of the office could probably share one.
3. Cut down on paper
While much of our communication and office work takes place on our computers these days, offices are still wasting an average of 1.5 pounds of paper per day (that’s per office). There are more things you can do to help cut down on the amount of paper your office uses. Here are a few examples to think about:
- When signing a new client, you can use a program like DocuSign instead of having them sign a hard copy.
- Make sure your printers are set up to automatically print on both sides of the paper.
- Instead of printing out a report, meeting agenda, presentation, etc., email it to everyone who needs a copy, and bring it up on your computer, smartphone, tablet, etc.
- Make sure every office has a recycling bin as well as a trash can, and that your office follows a recycling policy.
There are a couple of easy ways to cut down on the amount of energy you use for lights. Here are a couple of ideas:
- If your office has large windows that let in lots of light, try using just the natural light on days when it is really sunny. Not only will this cut down on energy consumption, but you will probably feel better. Harsh artificial lighting has been known to sometimes cause headaches.
- Make sure all the lights in your office are equipped with sensors, so if you are out of the office for a certain amount of time, the lights will shut off automatically.
5. Recycle Old Equipment
When your IT equipment finally dies, what do you do with it? These days there are a number of large companies including Staples and BestBuy that will dispose of the old equipment for you. All you need to do is bring it in and drop it off.
Or, there are IT support companies (including Network Depot) that will be happy to dispose of your old equipment for you. Bottom line- don’t throw it out. There are better options.
What are some other ways your office could “Go Green”? Has your company already implemented some of these changes? Let us know in the comments!
Interested in learning how going green could benefit your business? Check out this article from Small Business CEO, How Could Going Green Benefit Your Small Business?