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Greening Your Office

Even though most of us don’t think about it, what we do in our home offices or workplace offices can have a significant impact on the environment. Below are some things that you can do to “green” your office and make it more environmentally-friendly. Be sure to share these ideas with your friends and co-workers.

Photocopiers

Reduce

  • Lease or purchase copiers that can print double-sided copies

Cut the amount of paper that you use in half -- make double-sided copies when possible

  • Email, circulate, or post documents instead of making a copy for everybody
  • How many copies do you really need? Take a little time to better estimate or count how many copies you are really going to need.
  • Save some toner by turning down the contrast when possible.
  • Shipping labels so that you can return the “empties” to them for refurbishment.
  • Be kind to others -- reset the settings on the copier when you are done. 

Recycle

  • Recycle paper instead of putting it in the trash. We all make mistakes, so keeping a recycle bin next to the copier is a good idea.
  • Buy recycled-content paper.
  • Recycle toner cartridges when they are empty. Many manufacturers actually provide packets to insert the empty cartridges so they can be returned at businesses such as office supply stores.
  • Buy recycled toner cartridges -- they help the environment and are often cheaper.

Computers and printers

Reduce

  • Save energy by using the power management features of your monitors and CPUs. Learn more at the EnergyStar® website.
  • Using email to distribute information in your office is a great way to save paper-- if you and other recipients think before you print. Do you really need a hardcopy of that email?
  • Most computer programs today have a “Print Preview” feature. Use it to proofread documents rather than printing out numerous draft copies. This is also a great time to run spell cheque check.
  • Save paper by fitting more information on each page. Try reducing your margin size and/or the font size.  Many computer programs will allow you to change the defaults so that you don’t have to remember every time.

Reuse

  • If you have to print draft copies, try designating and filling a tray in your printer with scrap paper that has already been printed on one side.

Recycle

  • Recycle paper instead of putting it in the trash. Keeping a recycle bin next to your work area is a good idea.

Fax machines

Reduce

  • Instead of using a full cover sheet when sending faxes, try using a small adhesive note, such as the one below:
     
    Fax-Note Date # of pages
    To From
    Co./Dept. Co./Dept.
    Phone # Phone #
    Fax # Fax #

  • Purchase a fax machine that uses plain paper instead of thermal paper. Plain paper is easier to recycle.
  • Set your fax machine so that it prints out a transmission report only when specifically requested, and not every time a fax is sent. 

Files

Reduce

  • Store files electronically when possible.
  • Create a central document filing system that many people can access instead of having each person maintain duplicate files.

Reuse

  • File folders can be reused many times simply by replacing the label insert in the plastic tabs, by inverting the folder, or by pasting a blank label over the old one.

Recycle

  • Purchase file folders made from recycled materials.

Save energy

Reduce

  • Set your thermostat to 78° F during Summer and leave it at that setting. A thermostat lock box can help to cut-down on staff frequently adjusting settings during the day.
  • Turn-off lights and equipment when they are not in use. Make this a part of the routine for the last person (or cleaning crew) each evening.
  • Perform an energy audit and switch to energy efficient equipment using the FPL Energy-Saving Toolkit.
Back to Top Page Last Edited: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:25:48 AM
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