We have a responsibility to reduce the impact on our environment due to our activities at home, public and office. Simple changes to our habits can reduce our impact on the carbon footprint and make our planet environment friendly. It often pays to persuade the management and employees of a business to adopt policies that are eco and cost-friendly.

1. Be Smart about Printing

Make it a conscious habit, not to print but use computer/laptop to discuss items in a meeting or conference. Do not print unless it is necessary. When you do have to print, ensure you print on both sides of the paper. Set the default mode to grayscale to avoid color printing. You can also set the office-copier machine default to print on both sides, which significantly reduces paper waste.

2. Set the standby modes correctly

Software is available that turns off the printer and copier machines at a specific time. Have them installed and ensure to set up the standby modes for such appliances to reduce energy costs. You should also remember to turn off your desktop monitor when you know that you will be away for a longer time. Completely switch off the laptop or computer at night before leaving since it draws a lot of energy. Installing power-strips makes it easy to switch off the power strips at the end of the day.

3. Bring lunch from home

Reduce the use of the cafeteria and bring lunch from home in recyclable/reusable containers. Ditch the use of disposables, napkins & tissues, plastic water bottles and paper cups. Use cloth napkins, stainless steel lunch boxes and water bottles. They are lightweight and easy to handle and clean.

4. Healthy office environment

You can make your office space healthier with plants that help to reduce indoor pollution. Avoid the use of toxic paints and cleaning products and use nontoxic cleaning and paint products (free of VOCs – Volatile Organic Compounds). There are also eco-friendly office furniture, packing materials and office-supplies available that can create a cleaner and healthier office space.

5. Be Light Sensible

Switch to CFLs since it is 75% efficient than the incandescent bulbs. Additionally, CFS last 10 times longer than incandescent lights. Wherever possible, use natural light and avoid the use of artificial lighting. The simple act of opening the curtains/blinds can really help to save energy, money and the environment. Be responsible and switch off lights in empty conference rooms and other such places.

Remember,  you have a crucial role in saving the environment, and it all starts with you. Spread the word of going green wherever possible by increasing the awareness to your co-workers, teams, bosses and clients! Help to multiply the positive effects of a better environment.