Think green at work

Go green at work. Image © istockphoto

Go green at work. Image © istockphoto.

Save paper. Image © istockphoto

Save paper. Image © istockphoto.

Photocopiers should be switched off overnight to conserve energy. Image © istockphoto

Photocopiers should be switched off overnight to conserve energy. Image © istockphoto.

Get green-smart, quick smart

You can make an immediate difference in the workplace with these easy steps.

Reduce paper wastage and recycle as much as possible

  • Use scrap paper for notes
  • Reuse paper that is already printed on one side for draft documents. The paper can be manually fed into photocopiers and printers.
  • Set your printer to only print double sided and photocopy double sided.
  • Use the size reduction feature on your photocopier and use it to reduce the amount of paper you are using to copy a document. For example, two pages of a book can be copied onto one standard A4 page.
  • Only print our emails or documents when absolutely necessary
  • Get into the habit of editing a document on the screen rather than printing it out to proof read.
  • Reduce margin widths and decrease the font size in your documents to save paper.
  • Change the “paper” culture of meetings and where possible use AV equipment (laptop, AV projector and screen) to display meeting agendas and any other materials that are being tabled at the meeting.
  • Where possible, use hand dryers rather than paper toweling to dry your hands.

Reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions

  • During work hours, set your computer to go to sleep automatically during short breaks. This can cut energy usage by 70%. Screen savers do not conserve energy.
  • Shut down your computer every time you are away from your desk for more than a couple of hours.
  • Shut down your computers when you leave for the day. Standby settings will continue to draw power even when your computer is not in use. A computer that is left on all day, every day uses around 1,000 kilowatts of electricity in a year, producing more than a tonne of carbon emissions.
  • Scanners and other peripherals that are only used occasionally should be unplugged when not in use.
  • Switch off photocopiers overnight. A photocopier that is left on overnight consumes enough energy to produce around 5,500 A4 copies.
  • Turn off lights in spaces that are unoccupied and turn off the light in your office before you leave for the day.
  • Introduce or increase the number of indoor plants into your office. Plants filter the air, absorb airborne pollutants and radiation from computers and replenish oxygen levels.

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