We’ve already talked before about basic things you can do to save money in your household living budget (here for example). So now let’s cover a similar idea that you can also apply to your business while at the same time doing your bit to save the environment.
The following are several very easy to implement and low cost green office tips that you can start practicing right now.
1. Go Paperless (Or get as close as you can)
Creating a paperless office is not only an excellent green solution for nearly any business, it’s also a great money saver, and especially with the kinds of low technologies now available to just about anybody. This means low conversion costs and consistent reductions in running costs as you cut out more and more paper, ink and printing machinery replacement from your office budget.
With cloud storage technology, email, video conferencing and extremely cheap memory space, you can store and share enormous amounts of complex data without ever having to print it in all but a small majority of cases. Thus, why not try it? Digitize as many of your documents and documentation processes as possible and stick to this process wherever you can. Your wallet and the trees will thank you.
2. Stock up on Recycled Products
In case trying for a paperless office isn’t panning out as fully as you’d like, there are still other energy saving alternatives that you can easily try out. One of these involves buying recycled paper and ink products for all your document and printing needs.
In terms of paper, what we’re chiefly talking about is PCR paper, which has the same visual and texture quality as regular document paper but with the eco bonus of being made from at least 10% recycled materials and can contain as much as 30 to 40% recycled content. This may not seem like much until you think about the several billion tons of lumber it could save every year if it was used by even half of business in the country.
The same rules of recycling apply to ink and by buying refurbished ink and toner cartridges; you can decrease the amount of indirect oil consumption and carbon production your office creates by hundreds of gallons and pounds per year respectively.
3. Get Cozy with Low Wattage Space Heaters
For those of us who live and work in the less balmy parts of the country and have to deal with several months of cold and even subzero weather per year, the price of office and home heating is a heavy presence on our business budgets. Luckily however, this too can be mitigated and in a way that also helps the environment through heavily reduced energy use.
Energy efficient space heaters such as those produced by companies such as Cozy Products let you heat only the necessary body space around you while working long hours in your chilly office and they let you do this in a way that saves money on HVAC costs and beats conventional space heater use.
According to the Cozy’s own electrical savings chart, each of their heaters can save you as much as 90% on energy use when compared to normal space heaters.
4. Power up your Smart Thermostat
For when you are inescapably using a complex HVAC system that comes installed in your office, there’s still no need to waste both money and electrical energy on all sorts of inefficient little heating habits that lead to rooms being kept warm even when nobody’s in them or spaces being heated in ways that are needlessly power consuming.
This is where thermostats such as the NEST Learning thermostat (as seen here) can fit cleverly into your office green policy. What these thermostats do is algorithmically analyze the way you habitually use heating and occupy space in your home or office and based on this data reduce or raise temperatures in the most efficient way possible while still letting you and your staff stay comfortable. Furthermore, the NEST and many of its competitor brands can also be controlled remotely through downloadable mobile apps.
5. LED Light Savings
Finally, as part a quick and easy to implement office green strategy, you can simply change your light bulbs to the most energy efficient models available on the market. As of today, the indisputable top of the line products in this field are LED light bulbs.
While CFL (fluorescent) light bulbs already have a solid reputation for beating old fashioned incandescent lights in terms of energy savings, LED lighting leaves both behind in the dust. With annual kWh usage that’s at least 10 times better than that of an incandescent bulb and as many as 5 times better than what a CFL offers, your typical LED bulb, although expensive to buy, will give you long term savings of hundreds of dollars. Furthermore, each bulb lasts as much as 50 times longer than a conventional light bulb!
About the Author: Stephan Jukic is a freelance writer who generally covers a variety of subjects relating to the latest changes in white hat SEO, mobile technology, marketing tech and digital security. He also loves to read and write about location-free business, portable business management and finance. When not busy writing or consulting on technology and digital security, he spends his days enjoying life’s adventures either in Canada or Mexico. Connect with Stephan on Google+ and LinkedIn.
Photo credit: KLPA