Friday, October 7, 2011

Green Office Tips For an Employee

There are a lot of tips on the Internet about how to keep your office greener, but most of the tips out there need you to be in a strategic or decision-making position.

How do you set the printer on both pages if you're not the IT person who manages the printers?
How can you choose green office materials and furniture if you're not in charge of buying these items?

Fret not. Here are tips on how you can be a

Green Employee

Green Computer Use

The computer is the most used office tool, unfortunately they're power hoggers themselves. So we have to take steps on how to minimize the power consumption of your computer
  1. Set your screen to time-out after being idle. Instead of having a screen saver, just turn-off the display. The monitor will use less energy since the display is off.
  2. Use battery power if you're issued a laptop. Aside from saving your battery from being incapacitated early, you're also saving by not drawing power from the outlets. Just make sure that the charging unit is also unplugged as well.
  3. Use black backgrounds since black backgrounds just turn off the pixel on the screen. As a trivia, the hex value of black is #000000. In IT and electronics, 0 means off.
  4. If you're not dealing with time-critical work, then set power options to "power saver" mode.
  5. Don't keep your monitor too bright. If you're comfortable in working with a little dim monitor, then it's better, since less energy is spent to light up the pixels

Green Paper Use

  1. Don't print everything. Before printing, think. "What will I do with this paper after I print it?". If you'll just look at it and read it once, then don't print it anymore. You're just wasting ink and paper. You can just view it on your computer
  2. Instead of printing memos and other documents that needs to be read by other employees, just send an email.
  3. Before printing something that you really have to print, read or check the document first and make sure that everything is correct. This is to remove the "wrong print" scenario. A lot of paper is wasted just because employees find an incorrect grammar or missing titles in the documents.

Energy Efficiency

  1. Get more work done. Instead of idling in the office, pretending to work, get more work done. Although the office will still open and consume power every workday, getting more work done actually benefits the environment since less energy is wasted on useless things
  2. Don't turn on the fan if the AC is on. Although there are times that you feel you need the extra cool breeze, don't. Just sit and relax. Your body will adjust to the temperature of the office and you won't feel hot anymore.
  3. Do not overcharge your gadgets. Not only does overcharging incapacitates your battery, it also consumes energy that could have been used for more productive activities

Coffee Breaks

Breaks are an employees "me time". Employees can do what they want with this extra hour or quarter of an hour. Remember these tips to keep your break green.
  1. Bring your own mug and/or tumbler. Instead of using the paper, plastic and styro cups (especially the latter) provided in the pantry, bring your own. It is a little tedious to wash your own mug and tumbler but it greatly reduces our carbon footprint by purchasing less cups.
  2. Opt to dine-in on fast foods than to take the food out. Dine-in customers get the washable flat- and silverware. Washing the dishes costs less than using paper boxes/bowls, plastic spoon and forks, plastic/paper bags for the take-out food.
  3. Bring your own silverware. If ever you need to take out food, refuse the plastic spoon and fork. Just use your own. It's cleaner and earth-friendlier
  4. Reuse your teabag. There's nothing wrong with reusing tea bags. It'll save you on tea expenses (since tea isn't usually given for free in the office) I reuse mine thrice on my 500 mg tumbler.

Be Daring. Encourage Others

If you are bold enough to make a suggestion to management, then why not? Tell your boss the benefits of being green. Most companies now are looking for more ways to be green, so why not start it in your office as well? Start small. Start with your team. Look for ways on how your team can minimize your carbon footprint.
  1. Use email for memos. 'nuf said
  2. Digitize your forms. You do fill out most of the inter-office or inter-department forms on your computer, so why do you need to print it?
  3. Use digital signatures. Digital signatures can be anything, whether it be just the email signature, or a confirm button if you're using a software, use digital signatures instead of signing forms that will just be forgotten after they all sign it.
  4. Dedicated a hard drive for documentation. Gone are the days when you need to "file" documents. Since you create the documents on the computer, there's no sense of printing it at all. Just dedicate a computer or a hard drive where your team will put all the documentations in.

earth friendly
Remember, there are more ways to be green, all we have to do is to change our attitude of "me-me-me" into "earth-friendly - earth-friendly - earth-friendly"!

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