1. Pause before printing.
Using your printer sparingly can help cut back on added energy consumption, as well as paper consumption. Using “print preview” options in Microsoft Word can help you see if there are errors on the document before you print. Avoid making multiple copies of documents with summary pages, PowerPoint presentations and emails. Utilize email when you can. Emails can be saved, stored and backed up eliminating a need for paper documentation for many items. Using recycled paper is also helpful, as is printing on both sides of the paper whenever possible.
2.Measure your use and consumption.
Most of the time businesses rarely have a good idea have how much they use and consume. Carving out a month where you diligently track your consumption patterns can be very helpful. It should help you gain insight into areas where your consumption rate is much higher than what it should be. You should also be able to pinpoint areas where you can conserve resources.
3.Recycle whenever possible.
Find out which items are picked up by your local waste management company. Most places now recycle all paper products, including newspapers, used documents and business cards. Cans and glass are also taken in most areas, as are most cartons, plastic bottles and other plastic products. In addition, many places will recycle mobile phones and batteries. Many places will accept compostable materials, as well.
4.Get maximum use of office supplies.
Using office supplies over and over again can be a great way to lower your overall consumption. To help do this, create a spot where people can exchange their unwanted stationery and paper products so that they can be used again. Reuse cardboard cartons whenever possible. Try to refill pens and tape dispensers and use unwanted paper scraps as notepads. Look for design features in stationery that help promote multiple uses.
Look for ways to reduce the use of energy in your place of business. Use energy efficient light bulbs. Change the thermostat to more reasonable temperatures in both the winter and summer hours. Try to use window coverings and blinds to reduce cooling needs during the summer. Turn off all office equipment when they are not in use. Be sure to turn off lights in a room that will not be in use for more than 10 minutes and use natural light whenever possible. Many pieces of office equipment come with energy-saving features. Make sure your computers, copiers and printers all have these features enabled.
6.Pay attention to packing and shipping.
Many companies completely forget about the waste created by packing and shipping supplies and products. You can easily ask vendors and suppliers to take back unwanted and unused packaging materials for later use. Some of these vendors and suppliers also have a credit system in place for just such occasions.
7.Leverage vendors who use Green practices.
Finding vendors who adhere to eco-friendly practices is important. Do as much research as possible to find those vendors who make sustainability a priority. If you implement your own Green strategies but use vendors and supplies who ignore their responsibility you are in essence “cancelling out” your efforts. It’s better to support businesses who share the same concerns about the environment as you.
8.Create a Green task force.
Getting employees involved in this process can be quite helpful. They often have many great ideas about how to make the business more environmentally friendly. They often see areas of waste that management does not. Brainstorming with a team of individuals can also create many new ideas on how to improve the sustainability of your business. And empowering more people with the development of your Green strategies will be helpful to ensure that the new principles are adhered to by more people in your business.