Simple Ways to Make Your Job Greener


Time spent at your workplace likely comprises a big chunk of your week, so it makes sense to be as eco-friendly as possible while there. Anyone can help the environment from their workplace with a few simple adjustments. Hopefully, the initiative will even rub off on co-workers, who will also embrace a green workplace environment.

Promoting an eco-friendly workplace has more benefits than helping the environment. It’s beneficial for business as well, according to Ned Russell, group managing director of Saatchi & Saatchi Wellness and Saatchi & Saatchi Health.

“An office that encourages green practices tends to attract talented employees who want to work at a place that cares about their well-being,” Russell says. “Plus, your employer saves money when you use less paper or you turn off the lights; and that money can be put back into their operation.”

Making your job greener has a wide range of benefits. Anyone can get started with the tips below:

Be Conscious of Light Use

When possible, embrace sunlight as your primary light source as opposed to other lighting. If your current office situation doesn’t take advantage of natural light, consider reworking the office space to maximize its presence. If natural light just isn’t an option, switch out incandescent bulbs with CFL – compact fluorescent lighting. They last longer and are green without being exorbitantly priced.

Be Aware of Equipment Usage

Most offices contain a variety of machines that use up a lot of power, from computers to fax machines. Energy Star-qualified machines are always preferred, though if that’s not an option it’s possible to set any computer to go into standby mode when it’s idle for 10-15 minutes. This is a great way to save energy when not using your computer. To go the extra mile, replace your computer monitor with a low-energy LCD counterpart.

Also, when you leave the office, be sure to shut down any devices you use as opposed to just putting them into sleep mode. While sleep mode does conserve power, shutting down your computer entirely will save much more.

Reuse and Conserve Wherever Possible

Consider conducting a waste audit, a formal process that quantities an organization’s amount of waste, to cut down significantly on paper use. You can either conduct your own or contact your city or state government, some of which offer free audits. This audit will help conserve energy, in addition to helping increase the amount of materials an office recycles.

Beyond the audit, other paper conservation tips include:

  • Print on both sides of paper when possible.
  • Use digital storage methods, like Google Drive, to share, save and collaborate.
  • Opt for email instead of paper memos.
  • Be sure to proofread documents before printing them.
  • Opt out of any rarely used magazine subscriptions being sent to the office.
  • Eliminate fax cover sheets.

In the same vein, conserving other items – like using refillable versions of pens, mechanical pencils, table dispensers and other supplies – helps the environment by reducing waste. So does using remanufactured supplies and reusing packing peanuts, corrugated boxes and other shipping materials. If you work as a mechanic or industrial engineer, you could also suggest selling old equipment to be reused.

Engage Co-Workers to Be Green

Teamwork naturally is an eco-friendly endeavor in the office, as several collaborative tasks are great for the environment. One example is sharing a ride to work with a co-worker, which reduces travel expenses as well as harmful emissions.

Another is to encourage co-workers to bring their own water bottles as opposed to wastefully purchasing bottled water, or bringing in their own coffee mug as opposed to using paper cups. Also, informing co-workers that screensavers do more harm than good – and that they would help the environment by switching to a standby mode instead – will make a difference as well.

As the above examples show, it’s very possible to transform your workplace into a model of eco-friendliness, all by being conscious of light use and equipment usage, reusing and conserving where possible and engaging co-workers to follow your green-friendly initiative. The Earth will certainly thank you for it.


Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is a healthy living blogger who has a passion for living well, happily and productively. You can follow her on Google+ and Twitter, or find her at