By Rhonda Campbell
Fifteen years ago if you had approached me and asked if I was working on taking my office green, I would have told you I had no plans to paint my office the color green. Just thinking about how I would have responded causes me to chuckle.
Taking Your Office Green
But that was 15 years ago. Fast forward 15 years and it seems everyone is talking about “going green”. Small businesses are taking their offices green. Large companies incorporate environmentally friendly practices into their real estate and occupational safety programs. And who hasn’t seen those blue recycling bins outside residential homes and apartment complexes?
It’s the rave of the age – going green.
Should you work at a company (or be the owner of a business) that hasn’t gone green yet, making the switch may be easier than you thought. To start (and so you can clearly see how much waste your company is adding to the slush pile at the local dump) identify an area to store waste like balled paper, old newspapers and magazines in. After a few days or a week, check the storage. Don’t be surprised if you’re shocked at how much garbage and paper your company creates in a single week.
Make Your Office Environmentally Friendly
Work with companies that offer you discounts on future purchases when you turn in items such as used ink cartridges (they’re expensive enough – you might as well receive a discount for recycling ink cartridges), paper and empty glass products. These same companies may give you plastic recycling bins that you can label as “Glass,” “Paper” and “Plastic”. Remember – it doesn’t hurt to ask if the company offers free recycling bins. Depending on the number of ink cartridges and other recyclable goods your company creates you might be able to yield a 10 percent or higher waste reduction for your efforts.
If your small business is new to recycling and going green, consider signing up for a free trial recycling service. Also, set up meetings with senior leaders at companies providing environmentally friendly services and supplies so you can discuss your company’s needs. Some companies that can help you go green at the office include Waste Management, Tree Living, Recycle in America, Appliance Recycling Centers of America and Green Energy Renewable Solutions. In addition to helping you with recycling, some of these companies can help your creative small business establish renewable energy plans, a step that might lower your monthly utility expenses.
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