10 Green Practices for the Office

LEADGreen Wet Frog 1

As one of the leaders in going green in the work place, Metroclean has continued to proudly offer aid with our LEADGreen program.  But that raises the question, how can you and your office go green?  We’ve compiled a few solutions that will help everyone lesser the carbon footprints we leave behind from around our offices to try and help!

1.  Car Pooling 

This one will not only help around the office, it will also help on your personal pocket!  Financially, this is one of the best ways to help the environment as well as impact your own pocket.  Did you know that, according to the Ridshare Company, one car can produce as much as ten thousand pounds of carbon dioxide every year?  This overabundance of emissions has been attributed to being one of the leading causes of global warming.  We don’t need it any hotter here in Texas!  We all try to do our part even here in the office where car pooling has become a useful routine since Houston is plagued with toll roads.  By riding together, your team can all cover the expense of tolls, gas, or even be able to take the HOV lane.  This will cut down emissions that each car produces and I heard talk of breakfast on Fridays.

2.  Telecommuting  

Better than sitting in traffic, sit in your pajamas at home while you work!  Or do like a friend of mine and wear pajama bottoms and a button up for the video conferences.  More and more companies are finding the benefits of having some employees do the bulk of their work from home and with the technology readily available at our finger tips, it is becoming easier!  Try using instant messengers (yes they still exist), video conferencing, doing online training from home, and the bulk of program work at home.  This will save not only time that is wasted sitting in a car, but also increase the happiness of your team.  What parent doesn’t want to be finished with work for the day and get an extra hour with their family?  In addition, telecommuting helps cut down those vehicle emissions to help keep the air cleaner!

3.  Paper Recycling  

Here at Metroclean, we have someone come by once a week to collect our papers for recycling though we do our best to keep paper waste to a minimum by doing a large number of projects on our computers.  It often becomes difficult with some aspects not to have printed pages, but – oh no! – it wasn’t quite right.  Instead of throwing it away, start a recycling bin under your desk or, even better, find an old box that the paper came in originally and reuse that!  Reuse and recycle is the key here!  If your company doesn’t already have a recycle program set, consider discussing options with your boss or team leader.  Even if they say no, that doesn’t mean you can’t bring a box or two out to the recycling agency – they’re always happy to have people bring them things!

4.  Staples or Paperclips?  

You read that right: staples!  Have you ever paused to consider how often you go for the staple remover in a week or how often you have to staple something together?  More often than not, those staples end up in the trash can and are a small waste of metal that will end up in a dump somewhere.  Eventually, even the small amounts add up to a larger whole!  So instead of using a staple, consider using a paper clip that can be reused over and over again.  That and they often come in unique colors or shapes so you always know who in the office sent it to you.

5.  Power Down

Did you know that screen savers don’t cut back on electricity?  At the end of the day, make sure you turn off your work station and even consider unplugging your computer.  Knowing the Houston weather, we’ll get a power outage over night from a random weather occurrence anyways.  By unplugging extra electronics (or your phone charger you keep under your desk!), you will be stopping the cycling of electricity.  In doing so, you’ll not only save the company money, you’ll be saving electricity as well!  Aside from your specific work station or office, consider powering down other big electronics around the area such as printers, fax machines, and so forth.  Always make sure they have the chance to properly power down before you unplug them – printers need to seal their ink cartridges or you’ll be handling a mess when you get to work the next morning!

6.  Pack a Lunch  

With so many easy and delicious recipes online these days, people have a huge variety of things to try to make (or fail at hilariously!) so why not bring some of your left overs with you the next day?  By packing your lunch, you won’t have to leave the office to go get food and can cut down on both emissions and gas.  Not to mention how much you take from your spending allowance.  Who doesn’t want to save some extra money while having something delicious?  Another step further is to consider using Tupperware that can be washed and reused.  A great way to collect a few is to hang onto some from your packaged deli.  Easy on the wallet and better for the environment rather than throwing them away.

7.  Monitor Room Temperatures  

If you are anything like the Marketing Team here at Metroclean was in the past, you’re probably roasting in the winter and freezing in the summer when it comes to your office.  Consider keeping an eye on how hot or cold the air temperature is in the office depending on the time of year.  Do you really need to keep it below sixty on a nice spring day?  Probably not.  Find a good middle ground for the team that won’t leave anyone shivering in the corner and sweating in the other.  This will not only help to save the company some money, but it will also help keep everyone healthy!  Last thing you need is for someone to get drenched at lunch and catch a head cold in the afternoon.

8.  Wall Colors  

Did you know that lighter colored walls reflect more light?  Instead of just having everything appear as a gray slate, consider adding some color to utilize the natural sunlight.  Do you have a lot of windows?  Then use those golden rays to your benefit!  Sunlight has been proven to aid the body in producing vitamin D and is the most important way for us to get it.  Vitamin D has also been linked to people’s’ mental health.  Happy people make a happy (and more productive!) work place, so go ahead and get some color on those walls!

9.  Green Up!  

Since you’re already considering the wall color around you, go a step further and try to find a plant.  Is there one in the far corner of the office or maybe in your boss’ office?  Consider bringing a plant into the work space for you and your co-workers to enjoy!  Plants are known to both help freshen the air by helping get rid of the office air pollutants around them and turning it into oxygen.  It will add a bit of color to your gray world as well.  Consider buying small plants for some of your co-workers or team around you to help both brighten the area as well as clean the air!  No sense in having to come inside from a high pollution warning in Houston to a worse condition inside.  Most people often spend at least 40 hours a week at their desk or inside.  Might as well make it more enjoyable!

10.  Talk the Talk  

While we are not saying to run around and spread gossip, nothing will change unless others know about what is going on.  Encourage those around you to participate in small efforts to start and try to see where this change can bring you.  You will be surprised to see not only a greener office, but also a happier one!  So get out there and be the change you expect to see in the world.  Just remember what we learned from Dr. Seuss’ the Lorax…


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