Being green is getting more and more important these days. Lucky for me, "Green" is kind of a family trait. However, am I green in name only?
People are paying close attention to the impact their paper consumption is having on the world, and asking whether or not it's possible for them to be “green”. People use paper in so many of their daily activities, including office use, paper towels, reading printed books, buying and selling and shipping products all over the world (carbon isn't very green) in boxes with air packets and foam peanuts (I don't even need to explain how bad these are).
So, how can we ensure we are being good stewards to the planet, while still serving our daily needs? And what are some quick ways any company can do their part to go green? Most importantly, how can it be done without spending a ton of money?
- One way we can green ourselves up is by partnering with Tree Neutral. I launched this initiative to help people plant as many trees as they consume each quarter in the printing of books and/or in everyday paper usage. Companies in any industry are partnering with Tree Neutral to offset their paper usage, and it only costs about $0.06 to plant enough of a tree to replace a ream of copy paper.
- Speaking of, using both sides of a piece of paper is a pretty easy one. Try putting bins by each of your networked printers (also a nice way to save energy, paper, and cost) where people can drop off and pick up paper that has been printed on already to re-use for internal needs (It's cheaper and greener). We collect the paper that's been used on both sides and mix it with catalogs and other paper we recycle on a regular basis.
- Try reading an e-book instead of buying the print copy. They use no paper and have no shipping costs or carbon. E-book popularity is growing tremendously each year.
- During company meetings, try to use a projector whenever possible and encourage people to bring their laptops to meetings in order to save printouts.
- Don't forget the granddaddy of the green movement -- a recycling container. Put one in the kitchen at your office and strategically place throughout other parts of the office as well. If you can’t get a company to pick up the bins for you, you can get your employees or family on board with this by taking turns taking the bins to be recycled.
With some simple steps, every office (and person!) can green-up. It's not a political or fringe thing anymore -- it translates into real money and it's the right thing to do.
So what are some ways your office has been able to be a bit greener?