Green Business Bureau Blog
How to Green a Typical Day at Work
You are striving for green, right? At home you filter your tap water instead of buying bottled water, you compost your food scraps and you keep the house warm in the summer and cool in the winter. Certainly, you are doing your share and you feel good about it. But, well, maybe you think you would like to be a bit greener at work, but how can you do that? You don’t want to look like a green freak – or any type of freak for that matter. And, you don’t want to nag people about their own habits. Well, there are ways that you can be green without becoming the office nutcase, though we can’t promise that you will not ever raise an eyebrow or two. But, hey, a life worth living is a life that gets noticed! So, let’s take walk through a regular day on the job and see how you can do it with just a bit of green flair.
Start Your Day Right Start your day the green way be avoiding the temptation to stop for a high priced cup of coffee; that foam or paper cup isn’t going to do anyone any good. Of course, if you absolutely must start your day with some overpriced caffeine, bring your own reusable travel mug. Many coffee shops today are happy to fill your own mug with the coffee of your choice in their own efforts to help out Mother Earth.
Arrive on Time and in Style One of the least green parts of many days is the commute. So, try to cut your carbon footprint by walking or biking to work, if possible. If that is not an option, then take public transportation or at least carpool. If these are simply not possible, then at least consider leaving early for work to beat the morning rush hour. Tons of C02 is emitted into the air by cars stuck idling in traffic; beat the traffic and you will use less fuel.
Work Smart Once at work you can make a few simple adjustments to be just that much more green. First, try to get control of the lights or thermostat. Dimming the office lights a bit will save a lot of energy, which is good for the environment and the company. This may seem strange at first, but most people will find that a little less wattage on the overheads is actually more pleasant to work by. Encourage desk lamps for task lighting. Next, try to get your hands on the thermostat. If you can adjust the thermostat by just 2 or 3 degrees you can make a huge difference in energy use; simply encourage people to dress seasonally. Talk to your boss about installing an automatic thermostat so the office is not being heated or cooled when no one is there to need it.
Eat Smart When lunch rolls around be kind to your wallet and the Earth by packing your own lunch in a reusable bag, with reusable containers. Avoid disposable bags or plastic baggies, and avoid non-biodegradable carryout containers. Now, this next one is a bit of a push, but if you are really serious about things, take your lunch leftovers home to put in your compost bin. Yep, stick your uneaten carrots or apple core back in your bag and hike it home to dispose of responsibly. Be sure to bring a drink in a reusable, stainless steel or aluminum bottle as well, so you are not wasting single serving water or soda bottles.
Head Home and Continue the Green Cycle When your day at work is done, jump on your bike, bus or carpool and head home knowing that you have made some small changes that, when added up over 365 days of the year, can make a big impact. While no one person can save the planet, you are not alone. The more people take the time to care a little and make a bit of an effort towards green, the better off we will all be.