July 21, 2011
Creating A “Green” Office Environment
Everyone is going green! The effort to recycle and conserve has not only become trendy but important, but many are finding that the hardest place to push “green” practices is in…the office. All of the paper, the ink, the waste, the electricity, etc. it seems a daunting task for any business to convert to a “greener” work environment. While many of us our making the effort at home we forget about the impact we have at work. For example:
- One office worker can use a quarter ton of materials in a year-including 100,000 pieces of paper!
- Heating, cooling, and powering office spaces are responsible for almost 40 percent of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. and over 70 percent of the United State’s total electricity usage.
- Computers in the office burn $1 billion of electricity annually.
- Switch all light fixtures to T-8 fluorescent. They use 20 percent less energy, have better color, and less flicker.
- Install occupancy sensors in rooms so lights only tun on when rooms are occupied by people.
- Turn off computers at night and set them to “sleep mode” when you are away/ If every U.S. computer was turned off at night, the U.S. could shut down eight power stations and avoid emitting 7 million tons of carbon monoxide yearly.
- If printing for ressearch or editing purposes, print double-side copies to save trees and profits.
- Create hard copies of documents only when necessary. Surveys report that offices use nearly 1.5 lbs of paper…per person…per day!
- Buy products in bulk. It minimizes packaging and is ultimately less expensive for you in the long run.
- Try an automatic setback thermostat that conserves heating and cooling when its not in use. Heating, cooling , and ventilation make up 39 percent of energy use in an office.
For more tips like these, check out the Portland Development Guide
Also, remember that just taking one of these steps can prove to make a huge difference! It doesn’t all have to happen at once!