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A Recycled Office

In today’s harsh economic climate, businesses are putting operational costs under the microscope. Understandably, many companies are most concerned with the economic climate rather than climate change. Yet the two are linked. By saving energy and resources you can save money and reduce your impact on the planet.

Investing in a recycled office is not just an optional extra; it’s essential to preserve our future resources. Most businesses try to do their bit for the environment, whether by recycling, waste prevention, green power purchasing or simply switching off business equipment overnight.

With Recycle Now week approaching from the 22nd June to the 28th June, here are our suggestions for eco-friendly options for many of our everyday activities in the office that also benefit the bottom line.

Traveling to work
Walk or cycle to work.  If it’s a long commute; car share, or start saving for an electric car, or run your car on bio-fuels. Using a hybrid car can save you money when you file your taxes.

Turn your office thermostat below 17 degrees. By turning it down just one degree your business can save ten per cent on your energy bill*.

Use recycled paper or paper certified to sustainable forestry standards, and print on both sides (also called duplexing).

Printer cartridges
Don’t throw away empty printer cartridges have them refilled by Cartridge World saving you money and benefiting the environment. You can take advantage of the free collection and delivery service for businesses saving you time and effort. Did you know over 47 million empty printer cartridges end up in landfill in the UK each year where each cartridge can take up to 1,000 years to decompose***.
Recycle used paper
Install bins around the office to collect paper for recycling or reuse. Paper manufacturers avoid the use of 3.5 tons of virgin fibre for every ton of recycled material used. ****

Recycle used cans and plastics
Install bins around the office to collect empty cans and plastic containers for recycling or reuse.

Calculate your company’s carbon footprint.
Reduce and offset your company’s greenhouse gas emissions by logging onto www.co2balance.co.za to calculate your company’s carbon footprint and join their offsetting programme.

Green office equipment Invest in cutting-edge technology;  ‘green’ office equipment including computers, laptops and printers that are certified  Energy Star and EPEAT compliant to cut down on toxic waste.

Energy saving gadgets

Invest in an intelli plug, the world’s first patented intelligent plug designed to work automatically, eliminating the need for standby and cutting down on wasted power*****.

Get into the habit of holding conference calls/webinars rather than face-to-face meetings
Switch off computers and printers overnight. Computers left on can add around an extra 17 per cent to you company’s energy bill.

Turn off lights – Don’t leave your office building lit up at night. Put the office lights on timer or install motion sensitive switches so they turn on only if someone is in the office. It is estimated firms could cut their energy use by up to a fifth by doing this.

**Recycler magazine, December 2000.
*** Source: International Imaging Technology Council
**** www.xerox.com
***** more info at www.ethicalsuperstore.com

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