Easy Ways to Go Green: 8 Tips for Making Your Office Eco-Friendly

Spring has sprung so it’s a good time to look at making your office more eco-friendly. Here are some easy ways to go green — and save some green — at work.


1. Eat green.

Bring your lunch in a reusable container and spare the planet two taco wrappers, a soda cup and a paper bag’s worth of landfill space each workday. In addition to being one of many easy ways to go green, packing your lunch can save you some money, too — almost $1,500 a year by one estimate. When your coffee break rolls around, use washable mugs. Staying hydrated or juicing it up? Try a reusable bottle.

2. Power down.

You can’t be in two places at once. So turn off office lights when you’re in the conference room, and turn off conference room lights after budget presentations. Done for the day? Turn off your computer before you leave — unless it needs to stay on for a server backup. If you do have to leave it on, switch the monitor off rather than using a screensaver. Adjust temperature levels in the office, too. Just a few degrees can add up to major kilowatt savings.

3. Save some trees.

Tax season just wrapped up, so there’s bound to be a surplus of printouts and memos around the office. If they’re blank on one side, fasten them together and use them as a scratchpad. Moving forward, maximize paper value by reducing page sizes to half or printing double-sided pages.

4. Rethink ink.

Ink and toner cartridge manufacturing uses metal and plastic and, like most things, energy. Talk to your manager about switching to remanufactured cartridges to reduce your office’s carbon footprint and save money. Don’t forget cartridges can be shipped back to the manufacturer for recycling, too.

5. Switch faces.

Did you know you can reduce ink usage just by switching typefaces? An innovative student with a penchant for sustainability discovered that switching typefaces could help his school district reduce its appetite for ink by 24 percent. That can add up to big savings for your office, too.  

6. Designate a recycling area.

If your office doesn’t already have one, set up an office recycling area for glass, plastic, aluminum and paper. If there’s no pick-up service, work out a rotating schedule for recycling runs. (Just make sure you shred sensitive financial documents before recycling, of course.)

7. Green up your workspace.

Add some plants to your desk. They’ll brighten your workspace while emitting oxygen and reducing air pollution. Clear the air even more with a small air filter. In addition to reducing air pollution, the white noise can be soothing and conducive to concentration.

8. Reconsider your commute.

Think about carpooling with colleagues. You’ll save gas and sail through carpool lanes. You can even suggest to the boss that the best parking spaces be reserved for carpoolers. Look into telecommuting options as well.

Have suggestions for more easy ways to go green? Leave them in the comments section below.