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Going Green in the Office

Going Green in the Office

Before you click on that Print button, ask yourself if you really need a hard copy.

By Janet Barclay, MVA

How green is your office? Do you regularly practice the three R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle? Listed below are ten strategies for reducing your office’s environmental footprint. How many of these do you do on a regular basis?

Saving Paper

-Use recycled paper products.

-Before you click on that Print button, ask yourself if you really need a hard copy. Print on both sides of the page whenever possible.

-Send an email or use an online fax service to reduce printing.

-Recycle paper. Even better, flip it over and use the blank side for making lists or rough notes, printing drafts, or anything that doesn’t need “fresh” paper. (Be aware that feeding used paper through your printer may cause paper jams or equipment damage, so only do this if the paper is still in excellent condition.)

Saving Power

-Make sure that your computer and monitor are adjusted to the most energy-efficient settings.

-Use energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs rather than traditional bulbs. Better yet, use natural light whenever possible.

-Turn off the lights when you leave a room, and power down equipment at the end of the day.

Reducing Waste

-Spend a little more for quality furnishings and equipment that will last longer, so you’re not sending stuff to the landfill because it is broken or worn out.

-Return ink and toner cartridges to be refilled or recycled.

-When discarding old computers and other electronic equipment, keep it out of landfill by donating it to an organization that will refurbish it and pass it on to a charitable agency, if possible, or ensure that it is recycled. Visit the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency website or Charity Village to find an organization in your area.


How did you score? If you aren’t yet doing all of these things, it’s not too late to start. If you are, congratulations and thank you for doing your part to make our world a better place. If you want to do even more, read Working Your Way To A Green Office: A Guide to Creating an Environmentally Friendly Office for additional ideas.

Keep in mind the Native American Proverb: We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.

© Copyright 2008 Janet Barclay. All Rights Reserved.

About the Author

Janet Barclay, Master Virtual Assistant and owner of Organized Assistant, provides administrative assistance and website services to coaches, professional organizers and other small business clients.

Learn more about Janet and her business by visiting her website www.organizedassistant.com and her blog www.janetbarclay.com.

Read all of our Office Management Articles.


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