Going green at the office is just as important as going green at home. There are some easy eco-friendly things to incorporate into your daily routine that will benefit the planet and your overall health.
Adding plants to your office space not only brings some of nature indoors and looks good, but it also cleans your indoor air by reducing dust by 20 percent, bacteria by 50 percent, and mold by 60 percent. One plant is suggested for every three people in an office, in order to sufficiently improve indoor air quality.
Replace your regular office coffee with a fair-trade, shade-grown, organic coffee can bring a positive impact in various ways. Rain forests are not destroyed in the production of shade-grown coffee, because the coffee beans are grown under a canopy of trees. Organic coffee is grown without the use of pesticides and herbicides, which helps to lower the consumers’ and the Earth’s exposure to toxins.
Switching your bulbs to a more eco-friendly option has its perks. Lighting accounts for approximately 35 percent of electricity usage in offices across the United States. To help reduce your office’s energy-consumption, switch out the old incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), which use 66 percent less energy and can last up to 13x longer.
Putting your computer to sleep can also be beneficial. Activating “sleep mode” on just a single computer can prevent approximately 300 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
Recycling is another easy way to go green at the office. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, only 18 percent of e-waste is recycled. Recycle your used electronics (e-waste) responsibly to keep toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury and arsenic out of landfills. Recycling paper products and supplies is also important. Recycling one ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 17 mature trees, and 2 barrels of oil. The average American uses 110 pounds of paper at the office each year, which means that approximately 19 people use 1 ton of paper at the office.