As we move into September and October, tips for companies to "go green" continue to be the top items of interest both in business magazines and online. Here's a roundup of the top tips for businesses interested in going green
1. Add recycling bins to your office with easy to read and understand signs—Paper, Plastic, Glass. Encourage employees to recycle whenever possible.
2. Set up a "green committee" to discuss green issues in the office. Many minds gathered together to seek solutions are often more successful than just one. The committee can discuss possible ways to reduce the amount of printer ink and paper used in the office, can research new suppliers that may use greener production, and can report on ways to inspire other employees to participate.
3. Think small at first. Change out light bulbs, turn off lights in unused conference rooms, and cap supply orders on certain items: paper clips, pens, etc. You can cap bigger items, such as paper or ink, but you'll need to do some research on usage before you actually know how much to cut back.
4. Speaking of paper, set printers and copiers to print on both sides rather than just one side. This important change may require a re-jigging of office procedures, but it saves a lot of unnecessary paper waste.
5. Go digital. In a previous post on taming the paper tiger [insert link to this Accuconference blog post from week of August 11, 2008], we talked about scanning receipts and business papers for storage digitally. This also can be a way to avoid printing in the first place. If you have electronic invoices, why print them to file? Why not just move them to an appropriate folder on your computer? That way, no paper copies are necessary. What a great way to tame paper and to go green!
Remember, going green is a huge goal in itself, so setting a big goal to reduce paper usage or energy usage in a year's time is fine, but don’t get so caught up in the big goal that you forget the little actions. Little actions can add up to that bigger goal really fast and if every company did several little action steps to "go green," can you imagine how that will add up? It’s a great way to streamline a business—thinking in terms of curbing excess. And you're not doing it alone; we're all doing it these days. We just dropped our oil demands for the first time in 20 years in this country by banding together to reduce wasted trips in order to use less gas. It worked! Just think what we could do to save paper and ink expenses, even energy expenses, if we set our minds to it.