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We should ALL be doing our bit for the environment to help out and reduce our own carbon foot prints and the carbon foot print of the companies that we work for. You can us the same steps you take at home i.e. switching off light and electrical appliances when they are not in use, over the weekends and when you’re on holiday. If you’re boiling the kettle, do so for roughly the amount you require rather than filling it up to the top. This principle can all be applied in the work place too. So, if you’re not already doing so (and by Jove you should be!), here are a few pointers to help you get started:

  1. Switch off appliances.Think about all the office electricals you could switch off; lights, lamps, monitors, PC’s, printers, servers and chargers when they’re not in use. Heating is one of the biggest culprits, leaving heating units on when there’s no body to feel the benefit zaps power. Or you could just put a jumper on!
  2. Recycle as much as possible.There are so many every day items that are totally recyclable; paper, plastic, tins and so on. Mankind creates far too much waste. Recycling what we can helps to reduce the effects to the environment. You could even go as far as setting up a fining system for the office or a ‘Friday Forfeit’ to encourage recycling all recyclable goods. The forfeit…to eat a small green chilli!
  3. Work from home (if you can).This saves both the employee and employer money, as well as helping to reduce your carbon footprint. Of course this isn’t always an option but in this day and age there’s no real reason why we can’t work from home, unless you work in A&E of course!Phones, emails and web meetings (over Skype, WebEx, etc.) makes working from home more seamless than ever.
  4. Introduce plants (real ones) into work place.Plants help to reduce air pollution in the office and increase oxygen levels (yeah, you kind of need oxygen…). It may even make your work place look pretty! I’m not saying turn your office into the Amazon rainforest or anything, but a few plants dotted around wouldn’t go a miss.
  5. Print less.Do you really need to print out copies of emails so you can… errr… read them? We should try to, where possible, digitise documents as much as we can. Perhaps even introduce print out limits, or credits for those that abuse the printing resources.
  6. Walk to work or car share.If you’re lucky enough to work within a stone’s throw from home, you should really walk to work… we could all do with the exercise after all! A few less cars on the roads would make it easy for those that have to travel to work, so maybe there’s also be less road rage!
  7. Bring your lunch in to work in reusable containers.Many people use foil or cling film to wrap up there midday feasts…why not stick it in a tub and save yourself money and the effort of having to deal with tin foil and cling film (horrible stuff!).
  8. Use the AC and heating within the workspace considerately.Don’t abuse heaters and air conditioning units. Let us all find a happy medium temperature we can all work in. Less of the AC wars please people…

The festive season has a massive impact on the environment. The amount of trees cut down, paper used, batteries wasted, tins and glass jars, and bottles thrown away (as opposed to being recycled) is quite excessive. Use rechargeable batteries and maintain your high standard of recycling tins, paper and glass throughout the festive season! As well as buying cards and wrapping paper, we should consider planting a tree.

I know it may sound a little cliché to some, but we should all strive to be greener and promote the principles at work as well as at home. Everyone can do their bit for the future of Earth, the question is… can you do more?

Save the environment, print less and recycle more ya’ filthy animals!!

by Austin Waddecar on 20/12/2013

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