Are you interested in sustainability but don’t know where to make the first step?
Here are a few small tips that will get you started towards a more cost-efficient and eco-friendly workplace.
- Print green and share documents electronically. Encourage your employees to think twice before printing. By using smaller margins, smaller fonts, and checking twice before printing, your unnecessary paper usage will decrease drastically. By printing on two pages instead of one, you can reduce paper use by about 10%. A more efficient default font can use up to 20% less ink.
The Natural Resource Defense Council offers a great list of things you can do to lower paper usage. These include buying better paper, using reusable mugs and plates in the kitchen, and more. Click here for additional information.
- Many appliances and machines still consume electricity while in a “power saving” state. By turning them off, you cut energy costs and reduce your energy usage and carbon footprint. It can be as easy as purchasing a power strip – you can turn off all of your appliances with the flick of a switch! Click here to see a list of common appliances and on average, how much power they draw while in standby mode. While some of these numbers may seem insignificant, all of them added up together can cost a significant amount of money.
For example, a desktop computer placed in sleep mode draws 21.13 watts per year constantly. If we assume that it electricity cost 8 cents per kilowatt hour, and the computer was in sleep mode for the whole year, it would cost approximately $14.82 to operate.
- Replace standard light bulbs with energy-saving ones. A compact fluorescent light bulb uses 75% less energy and lasts about 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. Compared to a regular incandescent bulb, a compact fluorescent light bulb saves about $30 over its lifetime and pay for itself within six months.
The EPA and US Department of Energy make it easy to search for stores that sell energy-efficient light bulbs – as well as other appliances and office supplies. Click here to find the hardware store closest to you that sells compact fluorescent light bulbs.
- Replace a vending machine stocked with soda and bottled water in your office with a water fountain. Encourage your employees to bring in containers for their own water use or purchase a set of glasses for your employees and guests.
Data for kilowatt hour costs taken from http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html