Ask G

Ask G: How to be green at work

We try so hard to be green when it comes to the comforts of our own abode, but the workplace is a different story.

I've done lots to make my home greener but I'm struggling to find ways to convince my boss to go greener at work. The amount of stuff that goes to waste makes me shudder. What can I do?

Going green at work

Credit: iSotckphoto

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Aim high but start with changes that are free or that will have a short pay back period. Saving paper will help to save money and reduce paper waste. Reuse paper printed on one side for notepaper and printing drafts. Where possible, set printers to print double–sided.

The ‘Cartridges 4 Planet Ark’ program offers free collections for businesses that use a lot of printer cartridges. Alternatively, you can drop off used cartridges to participating retail outlets. Use memory sticks and rewritable CDs and DVDs for temporary data storage, rather than using and throwing away single–use discs.

You can also apply some of your energy efficient household habits to the office. For example, swap over to compact fluorescent light bulbs and set heating or cooling thermostats to a reasonable temperature. Saving energy will save the business money, surely worthy of a few brownie points for you. Once you’ve shown your boss how painless these things are, suggest your business do a proper eco-audit.