It was as I read through the article that I realized we're actually doing a really good job in staying as green as possible. Of the 10 things on the list, we're doing 7 of them!
1) Recycle. We have ~6 paper recycling bins throughout the office, and anything paper / cardboard that we can recycle goes into them. We also have a bin in the kitchen for metal/glass/plastic. All of our cardboard boxes we receive from inbound shipments are cut-up and put into our recycling dumpster out back and picked up every two weeks. Sure it's a cost to have this service, but it's absolutely worth it.
2) Don't waste energy on unnecessary lighting. We definitely do our best to shut-off lights when not in use - and even direct some of the warehouse fans to blow cool air into the office-space vs. running the air conditioning. We have all employees turn off their computer monitors and desk lights nightly.
3) Reduce paper use. We've installed .PDF 'printers' on all of the computers in the office, combined our 'picklists' to include multiple orders per page, have duplexing units on our two main printers, and generally try to print as little as possible.
4) Move away from bottled water. We've had a Britta in the office since day 1. Sure it's a pain to make sure it stays filled, but I know I always cringe when I see shoppers at Costco with a cart full of bottled water!
5) Programmable thermostat. One of my first changes after moving into the new office space was to install one. They're great, easy to setup, and well worth the $20-$40.
6) Choose green products. From our printers that have powersave modes, to the energy star refrigerator we purchased for the kitchen, we've got this one covered.
7) Recycled print cartridges. They (usually!) work as well as the originals, and are definitely cheaper too. We've got a pile of to-be-returned empty cartridges in the supply room - once we have enough stocked up - we'll bundle and ship them back to be re-reused.
I'm sure there are some additional items that we can instill / install in the offices to make us even more green, but I think we're off to a pretty solid start. I'm proud that our team is diligent about keeping up with our environmentally friendly efforts. In fact, our 2,500 square foot office with the equivalent of 14 full time employees generates on average only one large garbage bag full of trash a WEEK!
Whether your living by yourself, with a large family, in a small or enormous office - there's always something that can be done to help better reduce, re-use, and recycle. How many items are the list can you check off?
~Guest Author, and RuffleButts COO: Mark