Eco Friendly Ideas for the Office and Conferences

Article Summary: Read eco-friendly and green ideas for the office, plus savings and promotions from ecofriendly office suppliers.

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The Eco-Friendly Office

At your home, you may have stopped using incandescent bulbs, you may have a low flow showerhead , you may have added more organic foods to your diet, and recycling may have become an ingrained habit. You’re doing your part at home to reduce your carbon footprint and keep our Earth green.

But how many of us are carrying that same concern into the workplace? How many eco-friendly office supplies do you use at work?

Using eco-friendly office supplies (or "green" office supply products, as they are sometimes called) can save a business hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the size of your company. Here are a few ways to make your office a little greener.

1. Make it easy to recycle. Set up bins for various recyclables that you go through in any given day. You can recycle the paper you print on, your calendars and organizers, even the ink cartridges themselves.

2. Purchase items made from recycled material, whenever possible. Not only can you save money by using recycled office supplies, but you can keep lots of items out of the landfills. You can easily find post-consumer paper and even printers made primarily of recycled plastic.

3. Opt for refurbished office equipment instead of always buying new. Expect savings of 20 to 30 percent on refurbished office equipment and even more if you buy it used. Most refurbished items still have a valid manufacturer’s warranty. Make sure to read the fine print before you finalize your purchase.

4. Waste not. Get into the eco-friendly office mindset by reducing your waste. Print and write on both sides of the paper. Print documents only when it's necessary to do so. (Share PDF files, for example, instead of printing each document.) Use email and bulletin boards to further reduce the amount of paper used for office memos. Scrap paper should be collected for recycling and not thrown away. And, whenever possible, reuse envelopes, boxes and packing materials.

5. Turn off your computer when you are done for the day. Your computer works just as hard keeping your screensaver alive as it does for the other tasks you use it for. The few seconds it takes to boot up in the morning is well worth the electricity you will save by turning it off. You may be surprised to know that many office machines are continuing to draw power from their source, even when they are switched off. You can save energy by putting the office equipment on a power strip, so you can entirely switch off the electricity to the machines.

6. When you replace office supplies, do so with an eye toward energy usage. Switch for a CRT monitor, for example, to an energy-saving LCD flat screen monitor. You'll save on energy costs in the long run.

7. Clean green. Don’t forget the cleaning products used in your office. You can "green" them too by using only non-toxic, biodegradable, natural cleaners. Depending on the size of your company, you might be doing the earth a favor to do away with Styrofoam or paper cups. Have employees bring their own glassware for coffee or water. For large office gatherings when it's not practical to ask everyone to bring their own place setting, consider compostable plates, bowls, cups, and cutlery. More office supplies stores are beginning to carry such items.

8. Form a Green Team. If your business is large enough to merit it, form a "green" committee to meet on a regular basis and brainstorm new ways to fill your workplace with eco-friendly office supplies.

Protecting the environment is important enough to be carried on anywhere we are, throughout our entire day, at work as well as at home.

Energy Conservation Tips for the Office: Five Tips That Will Save You Money

Your office can be a huge source of wasted energy if you're not careful. With all of those electronic devices, it's easy to spend a lot on powering your office. If you're concerned about your energy bill and your carbon usage, it's important that you get your power situation under control. Fortunately, there are a few simple steps that you can use to make your office energy efficient.

The first step, if you haven't already done this already, is to change all the lighting in your office from standard light bulbs to compact fluorescent bulbs. CFLs use less energy and last up to five times as long as regular bulbs, so it's worth the extra cost associated with them.

The biggest power usage in your office probably comes from your computer. If you're using a desktop model, it's important that you make the switch from a CRT monitor to an energy-saving LCD flat screen monitor as soon as possible. Although this can be expensive, you can find a good monitor for under $200. This switch will save you even more on energy costs.

You can also save energy (and money) by changing the way that you use your computer. If you are accustomed to leaving your computer on 24/7, you are setting yourself up for having an energy usage problem in your office. You need to shut down your computer each day when you are done using it. If you pop off and on the computer several times per day, as many people do, you should set up your computer's automatic timing so that it goes into sleep mode after 10 minutes of inactivity. This way your computer will still be available, but it won't be using so much power all the time.

Speaking of powering down, make it a habit to turn off your printer, fax machine or scanner when they aren't in use. If you leave them on all the time, they are draining power when you don't need them. Many machines and appliances will still draw power from the source, even when they are turned off. Put your office equipment on a power strip, so that you can switch off the electricity to all appliances at once. These devices don't take that long to power up and it's just easier to get them up and running when you need them instead of leaving them on all of the time.

If you're really serious about energy consumption, you could hire a professional energy auditor to come and evaluate your office for energy issues. However, there's a new device available called Kill-A-Watt that can help you do the same thing for much less money. The Kill-A-Watt device plugs into the wall, and then you plug your power strips and electronics into the device. The device will track how much energy is being used by each electronic so you know where you can cut back and how much you are actually using. For about $40, it's are an excellent example of spending a little to save a lot.

With a few purchases and a few changes in your habits, your office can be energy efficient.

Go Green!
See today's hot offers on eco friendly office supplies at Office Depot
(And click here to Shop through this link to Save $30 Off Your Order of $150 or More at Office Depot.com
Discount is automatically applied. No coupon code required. )



Earth Friendly Office Supplies from Quill

Quill.com is famous for great monthly discounts and generous free gifts with purchase. Click the link above for today's specials on earth-friendly office supplies.


The Green Office
is an online catalog with a fantastic variety of green office supplies, plus lots of helpful articles for reducing the carbon footprint of your office.