<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Melodie. I met her when she invited me to come and crash on her couch for the night in the San Dizzle and she is for reals one of the nicest chicas ever. She’s a fellow marketer and wanted to use this space to share her thoughts on life, love, and all things nerd. Hit it Melodie! </editorsnote>
Happy Earth Day Nerds! I love this time of year because it really makes use more aware of how we’re treating our home, the earth. There are many things I consider when running my marketing business Marketing Melodie. I’m proud to run a business that promotes environmental sustainability. I recycle, reduce, reuse and practice many greening efforts in all areas of my business. To celebrate Earth Day 2012, here are 12 ways to go green at work. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, sole proprietor, work for a large corporation or own a small business or are just a cool nerd who wants to create a more environmentally sustainable earth, you can help create a greener workplace!
1. Bring your own waterbottle/mug- Many offices offer a water and coffee station. Along with the drink stations come plastic cups that are often used once and tossed. To reduce carbon footprint with your beverage consumption, bring your own reusable water bottle and coffee mug. Leave these in the office so you remember to use them.
2. Place plants on your desk and around the office- In addition livening up your space, plants help absorb indoor pollution. Some plants that are easy to maintain and do well in an indoor setting include: air plants, cactus, aloe, spider plants and jade.
3. Turn off electronics at night- Turn off your computer and other electronics at night and unplug the adapter. Even an idle adapter draws energy. If you work at a large company with hundreds of computers, think of how much energy this will save.
4. Encourage natural light- Design your work space to take advantage of natural light. Don’t cover up large windows or face your desk in the opposite direction of natural light. This will eliminate your need to use a desk lamp during the day.
5. Reduce paper usage- The greenest paper is no paper at all, so keep things digital whenever possible. I previously let you nerds know about. It’s a great too that allows you to file things electronically. You can also save any documents from your computer you need to file as a PDF and file it directly on your computer. If you have to print something that’s more than one page, make sure to print on both sides.
6. Electronic billing- Switch your billing statements from paper to electronic. Who likes to get bills in the mail anyway? Getting billing statements online is also more efficient since you get notified as soon as the bill is ready as opposed to having to wait for the post man to arrive.
7. Eco friendly business cards- Business cards are still very relevant in our digital age. You won’t go to a networking event without having people ask you for your card. It’s also a quick way to exchange information. There are various resources you can use to have an electronic business card such as uME. However, it’s often still relevant to carry around a paper business card. In this case, there are many options for printing your business cards on recycled paper. Moo Cards allows you to choose their “Green” printing when creating your cards.
8. Make your recycling bins larger than your trashcans- In most offices, there are many large trashcans and a few smaller bins for recycling. This should be reversed. In reality, many of the items you’re throwing away can be recycled but because the recycling bins are usually full, we end up throwing away recyclables out of convenience.
9. Use motion detectors to control lighting – This is a great tip if you have a storage room, copy room and other rooms that are used but not occupied during the entire day.
10. Reuse paper- It’s amazing how many sheets of paper are printed out for drafts then get thrown away as soon as the final document is printed out. Turn the piece of paper to it’s other side (if it’s not printed on both sides) cut it up into fourths an use it as scratch paper for notes, messages, etc. This is an eco friendly alternative for people who use a lot of post it notes.
11. Recycle electronics- Items such as old electronics, batteries and light bulbs are often thrown away in the trash due to the inconvenience and cost it takes to recycle. However, there are free electronics recycling events that happen across the nation. It takes a little research and planning to find the upcoming and closest event but it’s really not too much of a hassle considering how hazardous throwing away electronics is. San Diego has free electronics recycling events through Recycle San Diego. Many Ikea stores accept old light bulbs.
12. Donate usable office items- Earth Day is also a great time to do some spring cleaning. What items are laying around in your office and desk that you no longer use? Gather up all these items, ask your co workers to do the same and then donate them to your local charity. Reducing clutter creates a cleaner and clearer workspace which allows more fresh air to flow through your work space.
Alright nerds, these tips are simple! They just require small changes which make a big difference. Once again, Happy Earth Day and please share if you have additional tips on how to go green at work!