1. Turn it off
When it’s not being used, switch off your equipment. You won’t regret it. This can reduce the energy used by 25 per cent; turning off computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50 per cent.
2. Encourage e-mail
For some reason there are people in the GCC that still love faxing, but try and convince clients to get comfortable with sending and receiving documents on e-mail.
3. Print double-sided
It’s a simple click but can half the paper you use. Go to print properties now.
4. Save water
By tightly closing taps after usage, you can make drastic savings (one drop wasted per second wastes 10,000 litres per year).
5. Less flushing
Install displacement toilet dams in toilet reservoirs. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet’s reservoir can displace about four litres of water per flush – a huge reduction of water use over the course of a year.
6. Use recycled paper
Find a supply of paper with maximum available recycled content. This may be easier said than done, especially in the Gulf, but you’ll be surprised at how many new companies offering this service are opening up every day.
7. Select suppliers carefully
Choose suppliers who take back packaging for reuse. The more offices demand this the more it will happen.
8. Reuse old office furniture
Before deciding whether you need to purchase new office furniture, see if your existing office furniture can be refurbished. It’s less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
9. Lighten the load
Use 50 watts bulbs instead of 100 watts.
10. Replace bulbs
Using new energy efficient bulbs will cost more in the first instance, but can save thousands over their lifetime, and will mean less replacement costs.
11. Cut the drive
Reduce the amount of office transportation to your building. Carpools and public transport benefit both the environment and your employees.
12. Put someone in charge
Hire an energy manager or transportation coordinator. It may be beneficial to have someone in the office whose sole job is to set up carpooling or keep track of office recycling and energy use. The money spent on paying somebody to hold this position will be well worth it when you get your utility bill and help save our planet.
13. Redesign the workspace
Greening the space in which you work has almost limitless possibilities. Start with good furniture, good lighting, and good air. Furniture can be manufactured from recycled materials as well as recyclable.
14. Lunch time
Bringing lunch to work in reusable containers is likely to be the greenest (and healthiest) way to eat at work. Getting delivery and takeout almost inevitably ends with a mountain of packaging waste.
15. What a nice plant!
A pot of live greenery (maybe a begonia, or a ficus tree) not only looks good, it acts as a natural air filter, absorbing airborne pollutants and computer radiation while replenishing oxygen levels. Research shows that having plants nearby measurably reduces stress, so it can’t hurt to have something green on your desk for when you get stuck on hold.