It is common for environmentalists to disparage businessmen, corporations, and the very idea of profit-driven production. However, these two philosophies need not be at odds! With some ingenuity and common sense, office buildings and boardrooms everywhere can become eco-friendly, conducting their affairs at a bare minimum of environmental expense. Here are 7 ways any office can be quickly and easily transformed into a green office!
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Every office needs ink for memos, reports, presentations, and the myriad of assorted documents created in the day-to-day running of a business. But that doesn’t mean petroleum ink is the only option! Soy-based ink offers several significant benefits: lower levels of volatile organic compounds, easier removal from paper come recycling time, and even brighter, sharper colors!
(Image via TheDailyGreen)
Binders are an office essential, used to shield important documents and papers from the unforgiving menaces of messy filing cabinets or spilled coffee. Fortunately, these staples of corporate productivity can now be purchased in entirely recyclable form. Binders such as those sold by Green Line Paper can be used with a clean conscience!
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In addition to being among the most commonly used office items, pens are almost among the most frequently thrown away. For this reason, no office could claim to be green if they were relying upon the same, wastebasket-bound Bic pens for their correspondence. A far more eco-friendly option are refillable pens such as the one pictured here. Rather than tossing the pens and the ink inside them, these pens can be used and refilled indefinitely. Plus, as this pen shows, just because the pen is refillable doesn’t mean it has to look cheap or flimsy!
Biodegradable cups and plates
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Office kitchens necessarily use disposable cups, plates, and cutlery (after all, it’s hard enough getting co-workers to return phone calls, never mind wash dishes!) The problem comes in when these disposable items are made of landfill-stuffing Styrofoam that cannot be easily broken down. The solution: biodegradable cups and plates such as those shown here!
(Image via Worm Composting Tips)
For the truly radical office manager with a green vision, worm composting offers a collaborative way for everyone to pitch in. Co-op America tells the story of how they maintain a sealed worm composting container in their office kitchen. Employees take turns bringing the week’s compost home to add to their own personal piles, and the office disposes of all its food waste safely.
Eco-soft toilet paper
(Image via GreenLine Paper)
In his classic book “Open Book Management”, Jack Stack shares the story of a company-wide study which found that during slow times (ie, now!), toilet paper use skyrockets. Being that this is the case, it makes sense to use the most eco-friendly toilet paper available! That would be the eco-soft toilet tissue sold by GreenLine Paper, which is comprised of 100% recycled fibers. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,424,000 trees would be saved if every US household replaced just one 500 sheet roll of normal toilet paper with a roll of this instead!
(Image via GreenLine Paper)
Finally, no office would survive for very long without the boost of energy a hot cup of coffee provides. This Fair Trade-certified Guatemalan organic dark roast will keep your employees buzzing with productivity without any of the moral qualms encountered by less enlightened brews.