Sunday, March 14, 2010

Superhero Secrets--Greening the Workplace

A paper-wasting Greenmom attempts to turn over a new "leaf"...

When I did a Google search for "greening the workplace," I immediately got over 1, 250,000 hits. (As opposed to when I did a Google search for "itunes sucks," which got nearly 3,000,000 hits...we must have perspective, I guess.)

Planet Green's article on "How to Go Green at Work" has some good ideas--not just the corporate stuff, but little things people can do in their own lives to green their employment. None of them are brain surgery, of course--avoiding garbage, printing only when necessary, buying professional clothing at resale, stuff like that...good ideas!

Another interesting site, TheGreenOffice, sells green office supplies and holds green workplace webinars. (Which you have to pay for, of course, so naturally I haven't done that.) Another place I've now bookmarked for future shopping, though they're not necessarily "workplace" oriented, is The Green Depot--just what you'd expect, they carry a whole bunch of green building-and-maintenance kinds of stuff.

Tips for the break room are sort of helpful...

I loved this: GreenPrint software will automatically kick in whenever you print a document, enabling you to not print all those pages you didn't realize were in there, and which you don't need to print anyway. I don't know about you, but I get nailed on this one every time...

This is a fairly old post, but I never saw it before, and it is the kind of thing that resonates a with my own "do the small things I can, and don't immediately lie awake nights knowing that I can't change the world" way of thinking--Catherine Porter of The Green Life challenges us to make one change for the greener in our workplace, whether it's de-styrofoaming the office or setting all printers to print double-sided as a default.

Then there's my favorite: Utah's experiment with the four day workweek for state employees. A four day workweek...doesn't that sound grand?

Telecommuting in a lot of ways sounds even better--think of the gasoline, the CO2, the construction, the road infrastructure, the number of cars made, the everything that could be saved by eliminating the cubicle and having people log on from home, would be unbelievable, wouldn't it? This is also alluded to in a really interesting Time article about "the workplace of the future..."

Considering how much time the majority of adults spend in the workforce in one way or another, it does sort of seem like it's time to think outside the (100% post consumer recyclable) box, don't you agree?
--Jenn the Greenmom


concretenprimroses said...

Good topic!

I keep a stack of paper that is used on one side by the printer to put in for drafts or for something that I just need to keep on file (receipts etc).

A huge waste of paper is letter head when a business changes name or address, or fails. In that same pile by the printer I have some of that from former tenants. Its tricky of course because a business wouldn't want their letterhead in the wrong hands. But people should print on the back of their own old letterhead paper for internal things.

I've often wondered about the cost of running computers and monitors 24/7 (I don't, but know others who do) not just electricity but for the cost of counteracting the heat produced by the equipment with air conditioning. But I can't find information about how to access this.


Jenn the Greenmom said...

I confess to being one of the "leave it running" people, although I have everything set on "powersave" so it shuts mostly-off after ten minutes. That's one of those baby steps I really need to take, and it's easier now that browsers will remember what you had "up" last time. My computer screen is like my desk, and so turning it off is the equivalent of cleaning off my desk, which means the next day when I arrive I have no idea what I was working on. But that's not really an excuse.

Good point on the letterhead--especially now that it's so easy to make your own and just print it with your document.

I just came from a meeting I went to all proud because I printed the 24 page document we were reviewing double-sided with two pages per sheet...only to discover that a colleague of mine (who does not read the Booth)had made individual full sized fronts only copies for each of us. In color. Sigh.

Levinson Axelrod said...

Great post. Thanks for the tips and extra links.


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