Click on areas around the office to learn about ways you can conserve energy and resources at work.
Encourage co-workers to adopt some of these practices and lessen your company's environmental footprint as a team.
Switch off lights whenever possible. In common areas such as kitchens, storage and conference rooms, install occupancy or motion sensors so lights are not accidentally left on when the room is not in use.
Use natural light when available to improve mood and save electricity.
Work with a local energy company or a green business assocation to conduct an energy audit of the studio space to see where other changes can be made.
Turn your computer off when it's not in use. By shutting down your machine at night (and during the day when you're away), you can save almost 70% of the energy that the computer would use if left on. If you're going away for short times, turn computer monitors off either manually or by using energy-saving.
Replace your desktop monitor with an LED backlit screen which uses less energy than traditional LCDs.
Indoor plants can help reduce stress and fatigue and also help absorb indoor pollution, including VOC's and improving humidity up to 20%.
Read which plants clean the air here.
Consider screen-sharing technology to review comps and drafts with clients.
Utilize Web-based FTP or digital file transfer services to send files and documents over the Internet instead of sending hard copy via surface delivery services. Dropbox is a software that will help you to easily save and share your files. You can also try programs like basecamp and copperproject to manage department communication and files
Make it easy for employees to recycle. Use digital contracts with the optional use of forms, cyber or digital signatures (via PDF or a third-party signature software).
Email instead of printing whenever possible. Paper proofs consume paper, ink, energy, and possible adhesives and transportation to deliver. Substitue paper for an email for office news and other communication.
Plug your gear (laptops, battery chargers, monitors, etc) into a power strip. When not in use, turn the power switch off. Strips with staggered plugs make it easy to accommodate lots of equipment with easy access to the on/off switch.
Are you afraid you might forget to turn it off? Try a smart strip, it monitors power differences between computers and peripherals. This way, when you shut down your computer, the Smart Strip automatically shuts off the accessories.
Get smart about light. If possible, move your desk closer to a window to take advantage of areas with natural sunlight and turn off overhead lights --you'll get an added vitamin D bonus and natural light will improve your mood and productivity!
Seal windows to reduce drafts and conserve energy.
Lighting accounts for 30 to 50% of an office's energy consumption, try compact fluorescent or LED light bulbs. Both last longer and consume less power than incandescent bulbs.
Reconsider sticky notes or repositionable notes. Try turning the walls into a huge canvas for a good brainstorm session. Turn virtually anything you can paint into a high-performance dry-erase surface, read more about it here.
Avoid disposable writing instruments and use refillable pens or pencils. Purchase pencils made with recyled or alternative content or those made from certified wood from well-managed forests.
Choose nontoxic art supplies, paints, markers, pigments and fixatives.
Clean paintbrushes with nontoxic, solvent-free, or biodegradable cleaners.
Need to print out your stationery but you are not sure which paper to use? Visit our Paper Finder, where you'll find the right paper. Or even better, just print as you need it in-house.
Keep an eye out for clever office accessories that use fewer resources or have positive end-of-life uses. For example, stapleless staplers, calendars made from biodegradable paper, etc.
Follow a regular maintenance schedule for building ventilation and exhaust systems, and regularly check and replace air filters.
The glues and adhesives form ordinary rugs and flooring are a large source of volatile organic compound emissions. VOC's cause respiratory problems, dizziness and contribute to greenhouse gasses. Look for natural and non-toxic materials when choosing floor coverings and flooring.
Look for carpet tiles that can be easily removed or replaced if a section gets worn out.
In break rooms, eliminate the use of disposables by replacing them with permanent ware (mugs, dishes, utensils, towels, etc.) that way you are saving resources and landfill space. When it's necessary to use disposable items, use recycled and compostable paper products.
Substitute single-serving plastic water bottles or coolers with a filter that attaches to your kitchen faucet. Also encourage employees to use their own washable drinking bottle of coffee cup. Track and monitor water use.
Regularly check for drips, leaks, or faulty equipment. Install aerators on all faucets to minimize water use.
Use extra drinking water from meetings to water plants.
Consider purchasing salvaged or used furniture, it's the cheapest and greenest option.
Subscribe to magazines that print on eco-papers or are on a "responsible magazine list".
Make it easy for employees to recycle by placing clearly marked collections bins in convenient locations. Some towns and cities do not pick up everything, so times such as cell phones and equipment may need to be picked up or dropped off at the nearest facility.
Recycle cell phones here.
Donate or recycle used electronics here.
Earth911 will help you find different types of recycling centers.
Look for zero VOC paints for the walls. Visit this site for more information.
Green cleaners help maintain a healthy indoor air quality, which is better for you and the planet. Learn how to make your own cleaning products. For a variety of cleaners for any purpose look at: Seventh Generation and Ecover.
Use unbleached and/or chlorine-free paper products (copy paper, paper towels, coffee filter, etc.).
Consolidate printers, scanners, fax machines and copiers into one device and potentially reduce energy costs by a third.
Choose Energy-star rated office machines and be sure to schedule regular maintenance for maximun energy efficiency.
Change default settings on copiers to the efficiency setting and print double-sided to minimize paper use.
Recycle empty ink and toner cartridges and print only when absolutely neccesary.
Avoid heavy ink coverage for easier recycling.
By installing a fax gateway server, incoming faxes can be integrated with an e-mail system and routed to the recipient's e-mail inbox (Paperless fax).
Set up a tray for scrap paper so everyone at the studio use it if they need to write something down, sketch or print.
On average, a typical office worker uses 10,000 sheets of paper per year. That is why it is so important to purchase copy paper that is made with 100% post-consumer waste and processed chlorine-free. This uses no new trees and is not bleached with chlorine, a harmful persistant chemical.
Some options are Mohawk's Options, and New Leaf Encore.
When possible, bike, walk or take public transportation to work. Doing so helps eliminate the pollution caused by driving and idling in traffic - and it will help burn off those calories from your late-night cookie binge!
Provide employees incentives or vouchers for carpooling, hybrid driving or public transportation.
Physically green your office with a rooftop garden. It's an aesthetically pleasing way to save energy and money on heating and cooling costs as the garden provides winter insulation and shade in the summer, cooling the spaces beneath. Get in touch with your landlord and contact an Engineer to determine if your roof is capable of holding the load.
If you don't have any access to your roof, try installing a windowsill planter.