Upping Your Green Game at Work

Fia Turczynewycz
Jul 18, 2019
Melissa, a Guide Us Green user, recently posted in our forums about wanting to know more about how her workplace can up their green game. There are so many ways, big and small, that any workplace, big and small, can do their part to lower their footprint, decrease natural resource use, and have a positive impact on health, the environment, and productivity. When thinking through how and where to make changes, you can explore your workplace either by room, or by natural resource. Much of this could apply to your home or school as well! 

For today, let’s do it by natural resources. 

Energy Efficiency & Transportation 

  • Lighting - LED, motion sensors when applicable, taking advantage of day lighting (natural light) when possible 
  • Appliances are Energy Star certified
  • Electronics are energy efficient and unplugged when not in use
  • Everything turned off at the end of the day - computers, speakers, fans, printers, etc.
  • Computers set to sleep mode during the day when not in use 
  • Heating and cooling working efficiently
  • Set temps a little cooler in the winter (you can always layer up!) and a little warmer in the summer (utilize fans, shades, etc to reduce heating up from the sun) 
  • Utilize setback temperatures for when the building isn't in use
  • Carpooling or public transportation incentives for employees 

Water Conservation 

  • Install low flow faucets, toilets, and waterless urinals
  • Utilize aerators on sink faucets which dilute the water stream, significantly reducing the volume of water flowing from your faucet while still maintaining the feeling of high-pressure flow 
  • If a dishwasher and/or washing machine is present, be sure they are high efficiency, and only wash when it is completely full
  • Install water bottle refill stations

Waste Reduction & Product Use 

  • Eliminate paper towels, and use washable hand and dish towels
  • Use eco-products for disposable cups and plates for events 
  • Stock bathrooms and kitchens with environmentally friendly hand and dish soap
  • Printer/copier settings set to black/white and printing on both sides to reduce paper waste
  • Reducing - i.e. no Keurigs (or using the reusable K-cups) 
  • Using all reusable plates, silverware, cups, mugs, glasses for everyday use 
  • Composting food scraps 
  • Recycling typical paper, plastic, glass, cans 
  • Participate in a Terracycle brigade for odd ball recycling like markers, chip bags, and granola bar wrappers 
  • Recycle e-waste (computers, tv’s, printers, etc) when finished 
  • Recycle light bulbs and batteries 

Land Stewardship 

  • Build a better home for local wildlife by planting pollinator gardens and native plants
  • Hang bird feeders, install bee boxes and bat boxes
  • Reduce pesticide use
  • Plant trees for shade for your building, and local wildlife
  • Install rain gardens, rain barrels, and bioswales to help reduce stormwater runoff 

These are just a few ideas of how to make small changes and improvements for sustainable operations and behavior. What other ways does your workplace go green?

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