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Green Office Tips

Paper and Printing:

  1. Use both sides of paper:  When making copies always double side to cut paper consumption in half.
  2. Shred and reuse unwanted paper:  Shred old unwanted documents and use them for repacking any items you may ship out.
  3. Avoid color printing:  Print in black and white most times, color uses much more ink.
  4. Print in draft mode:  This will conserve ink.  It is a lighter shade, but still easily readable.
  5. Buy paper wisely:  Purchase only chlorine-free paper with a high recycled content.
  6. Join a toner recycling program:  Go online and join the toner recycling program for whatever company makes your toner.  HP has a wonderful program and we send all our toners back to them free-of-charge to be recycled.  Most toner manufacturers have this type of program and will send you out boxes for the toners and shipping labels so there is not cost to your business to return them.  Individuals can also sign up for this program and send cartridges used at home.
  7. Store manuals, policies and other documents online:  It is wise to have one printed copy on hand, but for the most part,  allow employees to access the information online.
  8. Reduce paper towel waste:  Providing air dryers, or better yet reusable hand towels would be a great alternative to paper towels.

Equipment:

  1. Turn off equipment when not in use:  Encourage employees to turn off their copiers, printers and other equipment when leaving for the night.  Most equipment have a powersave feature, but if not, turning it off will save power, which saves your business money.
  2. Recycle your e-waste:  Cell phones, computers, printers and other equipment must be recycled in Nova Scotia.  If the equipment is unable to be donated to a charity such as Computers for Schools, Nova Scotia; your local EPRA (Electronic Products Recycling Association) drop-off will gladly take your items to be recycled at no cost to you.  The fee paid when purchasing new equipment pays for the recycling once the product has stopped working.
  3. Purchase only high quality equipment that will last a long time:  When purchasing equipment, ensure it is of high quality and will not become obsolete quickly.  This will avoid having to purchase new in the short term and contributing to manufacturing waste.
  4. Calendars:  Use undated eraseable wall calenders.

Electricity:

  1. Switch to compact flourescent or LED lighting:  As current old bulbs burn out, replace them with a light that burns less power and will last much longer than traditional bulbs.
  2. Turn off lights when not in use:  Always turn of lights in a room not being used. You may also choose to invest in automatic switches for areas such as bathrooms and supply areas that turn on and off  whenever someone enters or leaves.
  3. Take advantage of natural lighting:  Install windows and skylights (if possible) so you can use natural daylight instead of electrical lighting.
  4. Buy Energy Star fixtures:  When buying fixtures, look for the Energy Star label to save at least two-thirds less energy than regular ones.

Computers:

  1. Unplug computers when not in use:  Encourage employees to shut down (and even unplug) their computers when they leave for the day.
  2. Buy quality:  Purchase computers that will last a long time and not become obsolete quickly.
  3. Buy energy saving products:  Before purchasing, ask if your computers, monitors and printers are energy efficient.
  4. Give your computer a nap:  Set your computers to go to sleep when not in use.  Short energy breaks can cut energy use by up to 70 percent.
  5. Banish Screen Savers:  Screen savers eat up lighting and processing energy.  Instead, set screen savers to "none", or "blank screen".

Miscellaneous:

  1. Do dishes:  Promote waste-less lunches by providing reusable dishes, silverware and glasses for staff lunches.
  2. Provide filtered water vs. bottled water:  Provide employees with filtered drinking water and reusable cups to avoid bottle water.
  3. Install low-flow faucets and toilets:  Help conserve water by installing low-flow faucets and toilets in restrooms and other common areas.  This will also help conserve electricity by reducing your water heater's output.
  4. Gift giving:  In lieu of buying gifts for clients, plant a tree in their name, or make a donation to a local charity.