Take a look around your office. Notice that stack of nearly blank paper? That harsh overhead lighting? The mountain of napkins and Styrofoam containers overflowing from the trashcan?
These are all signs it’s time for your workplace to green up their act! We spend a large majority of our time in the office, so making a few simple changes to workday habits can substantially reduce your ecological impact. Here are 6 green practices every business should follow—now let’s go green!
1. Flip a Switch, Save the World
It’s that easy! Even on standby your computer will continue to use up power, so it’s important to get into the habit of turning it off—that’s right, completely off—every night. Simply having your computer plugged in will use unnecessary electrical power, so the best practice is to simply power off that power strip before you leave for the day. In addition, make sure to utilize the energy-saving settings on your computer, lights, and all other electronic devices.
2. Don’t Leave a Paper Trail
Our good friend the Internet makes greening up your act a breeze, because the more you do online, the less paper you waste. Digitize your files and back them up offsite or in cloud-based data storage. You should also make a point to enable double-sided printing, and opt for recycled paper and toner for when you do need to print things out. Also, utilizing a shared drive will allow your employees to share and access documents electronically.
3. If at First it Isn’t Trash, Reuse, Reuse Again
Before you throw anything away, determine whether or not it could possibly be reused. Use misprints and duplicates as scratch paper, shredded paper as packing material, and boxes as…boxes.
4. Let the Sun Shine
(Not So) Fun Fact: artificial light makes up close to 45% of an office building’s energy use.
Luckily for us, our Chicago office has large windows that allow for us to utilize natural light on sunny days. If you have windows near your desk, skip turning on the lights until you need them. If natural light isn’t an option in your office, make sure you replace all light bulbs with Energy-Star rated compact fluorescents. Motion sensors are also a great solution to unnecessary energy use as they are programmed to automatically shut off when no one is around.
5. Save the Plastic for Your Credit Cards
One of the biggest changes you can make to your weekly trash output is to ditch the plastic ware and invest in some plates, cups, bowls and silverware for the office. Simply using real utensils instead of plastic ones can reduce your carbon footprint ten-fold. Pack your lunch in reusable containers and if ordering delivery, specify that you don’t need any plastic ware and napkins.
6. Ban the bottle
Your body is 60% water, so it seems kind of silly to pay $2 for a bottle of it. Insure that no plastic water bottles will be purchased by your employees again by opting instead for an office water cooler. Enjoy cold, filtered water in real cups or reusable bottles, for free! Most water suppliers will even recycle the used tanks for you.
Here at Arrow Payments, we’re committed to sustainability. We’ve gone completely paperless, and in fact, making our entire application process digital saves us roughly 100 pages of paper per account. I’m not saying that if you sign with us you’ll save a tree…but you better just in case.
Arrow Payments provides a Simply Better solution for processing payments online. Have a question? Tweet Antonia at @ArrowPayments