Friday, June 26, 2009

Green Business Practices at Work

Green living should be a way of life, not only at home, but at work as well. If you're the person who goes to work, does your job and attends the obligatory company parties and picnics, now is your chance to show everyone at work that there's more to you than just doing your job. Be the first at work to contribute to a healthier environment for generations to come: start a recycling program at work!

Make it part of your company's goals to reduce waste, promote materials recycling and supporting a clean, sustainable and environmentally conscious work environment.

To get started, okay it with your boss to have a chat with the facilities manager or administrator. Schedule a meeting to discuss ways your company can reuse, recycle and reduce.

Once you've set the ground rules, draft a professional, company e-memo urging all employees to participate. Depending on the size of your company, you may even be able to create incentives for employees who successfully participate. Some cost-effective suggestions include:
  • An extra 15 minutes added to a break or lunch hour
  • A pass to wear jeans on a day other than Friday
  • Create a badge or "energy star" that can be worn by the "top sustainer" for a day

Other ideas that may not be as cost-effective, but still reasonable, include:

  • A pair of free movie passes
  • Lunch on the company
  • A paid day off

Regardless, the participation of each employee will not only mean success for your program, but a huge difference in the amount of waste that is hauled to our landfills.

Office Recyclables


  • Clear and colored bottles, jars and other glass
  • Rinse and throw away caps


  • Clean cans, foil and pie plates
  • DO NOT recycle aerosol cans or scrap metal


  • Throw away caps and recycle bottles and containers
  • Plates and utensils
  • Bags and liners


  • Boxes
  • DO NOT recycle wax or plastic-coated materials


  • Cups and plates
  • Drawings and plots
  • Junk mail, catalogs and magazines
  • Office paper
  • Newspaper and inserts

Other things you can do to reuse, recycle and reduce:

  • Turn off overhead lights and use lighting on your desk
  • Use computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers that are labeled Energy Star
  • Turn off the lights when you leave the office
  • Shut down your PC and printers when you leave the office
  • Minimize the number of documents you print
  • Edit drafts on-screen instead of printing multiple drafts
  • Ask customers if they want a receipt (tools like track and keep accurate records of spending)

For more tips on how to be more environmentally conscious, visit Get Active. Go Green! Column written by freelance writer, delmetria millener.


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