How To Make Your Office Space More Green

April 26, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Plants help to make your office environment more green. (Credit: MsCaprikell / cc)

Whether you’re leasing or buying an office space you should consider going “Green.” Making your office more environmentally friendly can actually save you money and reduce your company’s ecological footprint.

Let’s take a look at some office-greening opportunities.

1. Heating and Cooling

  • If you have access to your office thermostat, heat your office to a maximum temp of 21°C when occupied; when you are not around turn it down to 16°C. Use automatic setback thermostats to adjust the temperature for weekends and evenings.
  • Use weather stripping and caulking to minimize heat loss from possible cracks near windows or doors.
  • Consider solar shading to reduce the amount of heat from the sun that penetrates your office building
  • Try to remember to keep the blinds closed to conserve heat in winter and keep it out during summer.
  • Think about outside air economizers that use outside air to cool down buildings when the air outside is cooler than the air inside.

2. Go Green with Your Printer

  • Try to buy and use recycled paper.
  • Use eco-mode on your printer if it has one.
  • Save paper by printing on both sides whenever possible.
  • Recycle your used ink and toner cartridges.
  • When buying a printer, choose one that is Energy Star compliant.
  • Do not set your printer to come on when you turn your computer on. Only turn it on when necessary.
  • Check out Soy-Based Ink. Not only is soybean ink better for the environment but it has many other benefits. Soy Ink’s prices are comparable to petroleum-based ink, but less soy ink is needed. It produces brighter, sharper colors because of the innate clearness of the soybean oil. And, it emits less harmful toxins.

3. Lighting

  • Turn off the lights in the room when not in use.
  • Do not leave your office lights on overnight.
  • Use light wall colors. The lighter your paint colors the more daylight they will reflect meaning you will need less overhead lighting.
  • Replace standard incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps wherever you can. They use 75 percent less energy while producing the same light output.

4. Office Supplies

  • Recycle used office supplies whenever possible
  • Purchase products that are made from post-consumer content such as paper and plastic products.
  • Eliminate your use of products that there are no green alternatives for, such as rubber bands.
  • Turn of machines when you leave for the night and activate sleep modes for printers, copiers and fax machines.
  • Consider consolidating these machines by purchasing a machine that performs multiple functions in one product.

5. General Ideas for a Greener-Office Space

  • Place recycling boxes or centers in a prominent location so that you and employees remember to recycle.
  • Encourage re-usable mugs, glasses and dishes rather than disposables.
  • Have at least one large plant in your office. They not only are great for decoration but they recycle the air.
  • E-mail instead of Faxing whenever possible
  • Use organic products for cleaning of washrooms and offices.
  • Get and use a battery charger. Re-usable batteries will save time and money and reduce the amount of toxic materials sent to landfills.

All of these ideas are simple and inexpensive ways of making your office space more environmentally friendly. Going green is something that can save you money and you can feel good about.

Our Contribution:

Some of the things we have been doing at Elite Business Centres to reduce our environmental impact:

  • We recycle paper, glass, plastic and are working toward a paperless office.
  • All money collected from bottles and recyclable containers is donated to a different charity at the end of each year.
  • Recently, we added sensors so that if an office has not been occupied for 40 minutes, the lights automatically go off.
  • We are participating in a “turn your monitor off” campaign to encourage everyone to turn off their monitors at the end of the day, rather than rely on energy-consuming screen savers.