Monday, September 15, 2008

green office

Alright. Here's my ten second rant. Ready? (You're always reading for me to rant, now aren't you? If not, well, I feel really sorry, cause ok, I rant a lot. A LOT.) Anyway, check this out. So I get called into a co-worker's office the other day. I'm standing behind his computer while he's showing me some work he's done, and I look down beneath his desk at the trash can, and it's FILLED with not only trash, but tons of empty plastic water bottles. I'm furious. I say out loud to him how I can't believe he has those in his trash, and didn't put them in the recycling can. LITERALLY ten steps from his desk. Right around the corner. We EVEN have an additional one in the kitchen. JUST in case he forgets the first one. His response:

"I'm much too lazy to get up and throw them in the recycling can." and laughs. I, do not laugh. (Lazy a** comes to MY mind, ya know?)

So, with that in mind, how about some great green hints for your office! (I've already replaced the nasty Big Brand hand wash with some wonderful method lavender wash (which I have to personally, out of my own pocket keep stocked. But it's a small pleasure I get to enjoy each time I wash my hands, so it's worth it! I also bring in an aircare candle every once in a while to burn around the day, but they're a picky, macho kind of group, so I can't get too many scents by them, yet!)

I lust many of these ideas from the Jolly Green Girl:

"Most of us work in an office environment, whether it be in a big high-rise or a home office. Aside from moving the office outside, there are things we all can do to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The office may not be the first place you think of, but when we spend so much time there it really should be. Here are some ideas to help get you started.

1. Set a nice plant on your desk. It will get you in touch with nature as you sit in fluorescent hell, and you will have a natural air filter that will clean the air you breathe in as it simultaneously produces more oxygen.

2. Power strips – Take advantage of that red button and turn off the strip when not in use. Even though your computers, desk lamps, printers, etc. are turned off, the power strip is still using a small amount of energy. Every bit helps!

3. Encourage your office to use a shredding company. Most will supply your office with a large locked bin where you put all paper into, they then pick it up and haul off to the mega-shredder.

4. Create an in-office recycling center if you don’t already have one. There are recycling companies that will even come to your office and pick it up every week. Even if it’s a simple cardboard box where everyone can throw unwanted papers, water bottles, and other recyclables into, it gives them a place to put it instead of their wastebasket.

5. While we’re on the subject of plastic water bottles, recycling connections tells us that 190 BILLION water bottles were thrown out in a year. This was a stat from 2003, so you can rest assured that it can only be higher now. Don’t even get me started on the barrels of oil it took to produce those bottles. Suggest that everyone go out and make a small investment in a fun water bottle that they can reuse every day. Maybe it would make a good Christmas exchange idea; draw names and each person buys a water bottle that signifies the personality of the user. Just a thought.

6.While you’re at it, bring in some dishes- If your building has a kitchen area that stores only paper plates, cups, and utensils, send out a memo requesting that everyone bring in a few dish items that they don’t use from home. This way the kitchen gets stocked with reusable dishes that everyone can enjoy. Side note: Try to stick with glass plates and bowls. Heating your food in plastic has been known to release cancer causing chemicals that can leach into your food. Why risk it?

7. Replace all the bulbs. Easy. Walk around and replace any regular light bulbs with fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs).They use significantly less energy, yet work just as well.

8. Turn off the lights, turn off the lights

9. Switch to recycled paper- An estimated 40% of total waste in the United States is said to be made up of paper. Make the switch.

10. Have a bin or folder where you put paper after it’s been used on one side. You can use this paper for jotting down notes, etc. Making copies? Make them double-sided when you can.

11. Where are you getting your cup of java from? Make sure your company only purchases Fair Trade coffee and teas. Bring your own mug from home to drink that Fair Trade coffee and tea. I cringe when I see someone grab those disposable paper cups every morning.

12. Work together to create carpools and educate all employees on bus systems available to them in your area. Better yet, encourage your boss to consider working from home or flextime.

13. Don’t purchase new shipping and packaging materials; reuse, reuse, reuse. Saves money, too!

14. Place a small “green tip” suggestion box that allows any employee to add to these suggestions on how to add a little green to the office.
- Veronica Cannon"

1 comment:

Kelli @ Gohn Crazy said...

I struggled with my husband on this same matter. Drove me crazy. He would take cans of soda along with him to work and he never bring them home with him. I would ask if they were recycled and of course, no. Thank goodness his company finally got a recycling program and he now swears that he recycles everything at work. I can't stand lazy as the reason to throw the most easy to recycle items in the trash. Makes me want to scream.

*deep breath*

Ok I'm better now.

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