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Five ways to make your office greener

filling plastic_cup_22_05_12You may recycle your newspapers and cans at home, but do you do the same in the office? It’s easy to take a separate approach to recycling when in the workplace, whether in an office or working from home; but making your office greener needn’t be a chore. Here are five quick and easy ways to inject some much-needed, eco-friendly behaviour into where you work.

Ban plastic water bottles and cups – the office water cooler is a magnet for ungreen behaviour. Filling up a plastic cup, throwing it in the bin after use, only to take a fresh cup for a drink an hour later is wasteful. Encourage your colleagues to bring in sports water bottles or reusable bottles to cut down on plastic waste – and if they must use them, at least place a recycling bin next to the cooler.

Reuse scrap paper – how many times are documents printed mistakenly or used for reference and then discarded? Place a ‘scrap paper’ tray near the printer, so that next time someone needs some rough paper to make some notes on they’re not breaking into the new crisp A4.

Recycle ink cartridges – many people don’t realise that printer ink cartridges can be easily recycled – and in return for a cash incentive! There’s a whole host of companies that will take your used cartridges off your hands and can offer money, vouchers or a donation to charity in return, so get collecting. Not to mention, you can purchase remanufactured cartridges for discounted prices to save more and use less!

Monitor your computers – make sure that all computers have their energy-savings settings activated and of course ensure all machines are turned off at the end of the day. It may be worthwhile assigning this to the person who leaves the office last; a quick check that no computers are still on standby can make all the difference – saving 30% on energy in fact.

Go digital  – find ways to cut down on printing; always asking yourself do I need to print this? Send emails with documents attached to colleagues rather than printing them off. Although we live in a digital age, there is always the urge to print out documents unnecessarily. Using shared documents such as Google Docs, means that multiple users can update the same document which saves re-printing after every amendment!

Picture credit: Shutterstock

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