iStock_000005302324XSmall Transforming your office can lead to more money in your pocket too

Running an ecologically friendly business is not only a good investment for us and our community but also a simple way to conserve energy and save money. After a long day at the office who really remembers to turn off their computers anymore? Unfortunately, most of us aren’t aware of the consequences in our routine behavior and the disastrous affects it has on others. Regardless of whether you’re the boss or an employee, everyone can help save energy, recycle waste, and create a friendlier environment. Below are several tips to help you save energy around the office and support any green efforts you have started:

1) Optimizing the energy settings on all the computers in your workplace can save you a tremendous amount of electricity, and money. Simply changing computers to energy-saving settings and remembering to put them on sleep mode when you leave the room will improve energy efficiency in the workplace. After a hard day of work, take a moment and remember to unplug all the appliances that will drain energy while you’re away. For instance, your cell phone charger uses electricity even when it isn’t charging your phone. Keep in mind that most gadgets still use up energy in low power mode, so you’ll need a powerstrip that cuts idle current , such as the Smart Power Strip in order to power only specific devices when the rest are off.

2) Switching to energy efficient light bulbs is also another great way to conserve electricity. Only 8 percent of the energy consumed by an incandescent light bulb is actually used to produce light. The rest just creates useless heat. Light bulbs such as compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) use 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last ten times longer. LED desk lamps and other energy-saving light fixtures could be implemented all around the office. As well as utilizing natural daylight in large windowed offices to preserve heat and electricity. There are even simpler tasks we can work into our daily routine such as turning off lights in the kitchen and restroom when they aren’t being used. Raising awareness and remembering to do what our parents told us – turn off those lights – helps protect our environment and saves money.

3) One polystyrene cup contains one billion chlorofluorocarbons which contain elements of chlorine that can potentially harm a large amount of the ozone layer. To avoid using Styrofoam cups at the office, ask everyone to bring their own personal coffee mug and keep spare ones for guests. To avoid excess waste provide real towels in the kitchen and restrooms. Don’t use paper napkins! Rather than keeping cabinets full of paper, store things electronically and switch to editing and organizing digitally.

4) If you must keep paper items in stock, at least make sure they are recycled! Recycled paper saves 55 percent of water compared to freshly made paper. But simply having the nice recycler’s logo on the front package is not enough. When you buy recycled paper check the labels to make sure you’re buying paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and little to no chlorine bleach. This paper has far less toxic chemicals that are harmful for the environment and will help make your office more eco-friendly. To help your recycling efforts, reuse boxes from your office and use shredded paper as packaging material. These small little changes will help conserve supplies and eliminate unnecessary waste.

5) Another hazardous part of our daily routine is commuting to work every morning. For every gallon of gas we use in our cars, 19 pounds of CO2 are released into the atmosphere. Public transport, biking, or even carpooling would help reduce your gas emissions tremendously. The best way to commute, however, is not to commute at all- or to telecommute. Telecommuting could potentially help save millions of dollars in gas mileage and best of all- it allows you to work from your own home! If people drive about 1,000 miles a month, they are producing around 120 tons of carbon dioxide a year. Imagine how much of our environment we could all save by telecommuting even once-twice a week.

Though we might not be saving the planet all at once, helping the environment and raising awareness is important in the work place and at home. Every little bit counts.

Has your office gone green? If so, share your tips with us below.