There’s some pretty cool stuff floating around out there in that giant space vacuum in which Earth currently resides (as it always has). For example, one planet named upsilon Andromedae B has one side that always faces the sun, resulting in massive temperature differences. The sunny side is around 2700 degrees Fahrenheit, and the other side is a balmy -148 degrees. If that doesn’t sound uncomfortable, there’s also planet HD 189773b – which rolls right off the tongue – where it rains sideways at 4,000 mph. Oh, and that rain is made of glass.
As you and most other people probably know, there’s not a whole lot of other options for viable living spaces if Earth was no longer in the picture, so I prefer it to stick around for a while. Here’s a few sustainability tips for the office so we can all help make sure that happens.
1. Think about lighting
There’s a lot of ways to save both energy and money by being strategic about the use of lighting throughout your office building. One of the most substantial is considering the type of light bulbs being used. CFLs use over 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last about 7 times as long, and LEDs use about 90% less energy and last over 40 times as long. Also try to take advantage of any natural lighting and install light timers and motion sensors in rooms that aren’t used on a constant basis.
2. Recycle everything you can
Set up recycle bins around the office to reduce the amount of waste that will end up in a landfill. Recycling scrap paper is a great place to start, but there’s a lot of other things laying around the office that can be recycled too, like magazines, food containers, bottles and cans, and even electronic waste like printer cartridges and batteries.
3. Turn things off
Set your computer monitor to turn off after 10 minutes of inactivity, instead of going to a screen saver. Turn off lights when no one is in the room. Unplug appliances that are not being used. Although these are great policies to keep in mind all day, they’re especially important when everyone leaves for the night. Turning off computers at night and using every saving settings during the day saves $250 per computer, per year. Also remember to turn off copiers, printers, and any other office electronics that don’t need to be on overnight.
4. Watch your air conditioner and heat usage
Heat and air conditioner are responsible for a big portion of the energy used in office buildings. To save electricity, try to adjust your thermostat according to the temperature outside. Harvard University suggests 74-78 degrees in the summer, and 68-72 degrees in the winter, but even adjusting the thermostat a couple degrees can make a difference. You can adjust the thermostat even further over the weekend when no one is present.
5. Reduce the use of paper
Ways to cut down on paper range from tweaking every day operations to implementing streamlined, electronic business processes. You can start using less paper right now by making sure you print on both sides of each sheet and creating a scrap paper pile next to the printer so employees can reuse otherwise wasted paper. For a more drastic approach with bigger returns, look into converting paper back files into electronic formats and switching from manual to automated processes. In addition to the conservation of natural resources and the self-satisfaction of knowing you’re saving innocent trees, this brings a variety of other benefits to your organization, from reduced costs to faster business processes to reduced storage space to higher productivity.
Office sustainability is a win-win: you save money, and you save the earth. By combining tactics as simple as these, you can make a difference in the toll business operations take on the environment. For more information on how DataBank can help your organization to cut costs and streamline processes by going paperless, download our whitepaper below – “The CIO Challenge: Creating the Information-Driven Enterprise.”