Best Steps For Office Greening?

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Want to help green up your office?

Manager not listening?

1.  Try these suggestions.
2.  Frame them in a money-saving language.
3.  Stand back.
4.  Watch pointy-haired-boss’s ears perk up.

  • Substitute travel with videoconference or a web-based tool for getting together. Not only will you be ‘back in the office’ 5 minutes after your meeting is over (ahem, productivity…), you will be able to stay in your own bed, at your own home, with your family.  It will also save your company hotel, airfare, cabs, and meals/entertainment costs.  Don’t have videoconference?  Try Webex.  You can watch others on camera, and listen real-time.
  • Shut down computers at night. Now this one is probably trickier than it first appears.  Talk to your IT department.  Night time is usually when they like to do system-wide updates, and they don’t like having to run around and fix people’s computers when they’re having problems because the person’s computer was not available for system-wide fixes at night.  But work with your IT folks and let them know what you’d like to do.  At the very least, pick one night per week that everyone has to leave their computers on, and have the IT department send out an email out on that day to let everyone know to keep their computers on.

  • Turn thermostats down 1 or 2 degrees, and program them for minimal heating and cooling on nights and weekends. Buildings are huge contributors to global warming gas emissions, and the HVAC systems are front and center on the list.  This is an easy fix that few people should complain about, however there was an Office episode about it not too long ago, with people battling over the thermostat, so ask your office manager the best approach and go from there.  Definitely get their input and buy-in, as they will then become a partner.  They’re the ones usually paying the bills, so they’d be the first to understand the savings and will become an advocate for change and therefore an ally of yours.
  • Get creative with rewards and deterrents! I’ve heard of offices ‘ticketing’ polluters who leave lights on at their desks overnight and those who drive hummers.  If the ticket is funny and engaging enough (be careful with the design), the person will hopefully get the point that you’re trying to help them help the planet, but keeping your sense of humor in doing so.  I’ve also heard of offices rewarding vegetarians and bike commuters with anonymous mystery gifts such as organic chocolates, a spare inner tube, or a coupon for a free bike tuneup.

And don’t forget to stock up on green office supplies!

Photo Credit: Jeff Wilcox at Flickr Under Creative Commons License