by Paul M. Carhart
Rising fuel costs and energy bills are forcing people everywhere to "go green." People today want to do their part to save the planet. There are things we can do as individuals but what if you could organize others? Here are a few ways you can lead the eco-charge in your workplace.
Do You Need To Print That?
There are a lot of documents that float around an office. Microsoft has based its entire line of software on just this kind of information and, more often than not, people feel compelled to print these documents. Don't get me wrong, there are definitely times when it is important to print out information. But what if we asked the question, "Do I really need to print that?" If it's something you can just as easily view on your monitor and you don't need to mark it up, perhaps you don't need to print it. Perhaps you could save paper, toner and the energy the printer would have used to print it if you just made a minor adjustment to your everyday work habits.
Print On Both Sides
As previously stated, there are always times that you must print documents. For those times, most modern business printers of note are set up with the ability to print on both sides of the page. If you're not sure how to do this, have your handy IT guy do it for you. If you're going to expend the toner and the energy, you might as well save some trees.
Recycle The Paper
Even the most vital of documents are not needed forever. When it's time to retire your printed pages, put them in a paper-only bin and recycle them. You'll see that every page adds up.
Recycle Cans And Bottles
I've never worked in an office where caffeinated drinks were not the order of the day. Coffee is common, sure. But aluminum soda cans are nearly just as common. For that matter, standard water bottles are the flotsom and jetsom of the office. Get another bin and start filling it up.
Turn Off Unneeded Lights And Devices
So you think you're doing everything you can, eh? Does the light in the bathroom need to be on when no one’s in it? Probably not. Do printers, fax machines and computer monitors need to be on overnight? Doubtful. Start turning these devices off whenever you can. You'll not only save your company money but you'll outdo your colleagues in your quest to save the planet.
Speaking of colleagues. Once your strange behavior starts getting noticed, encourage your friends to take part as well. It’s sorta like a high school dance floor. No one may be dancing at first but, as you start doing your part, others will step up and do theirs. Before you know it, you’ll inspire a company recycling program.
You may not single-handedly stop Global Warming, but a minor tweak in your everyday office behavior might be the first step in starting a national "go green" revolution. You've got nothing to lose and we've all got everything to gain.
Paul Carhart’s book, Zooming Thru Life: Creative Tips To Bring Sanity To Your On-The-Go Lifestyle, will be available from your favorite online bookseller, August 2009. Stay up to date: paulcarhart.com.