Green — a word that no longer evokes solely the image of a color, but also a call for environmentally-conscious action! Because we are constantly confronted with pressure to “be green” in our consumption, it’s easy to see how environmental sustainability has a definite presence in our business practices. This gives way to a new discussion: office sustainability! We compiled a list of things to keep in mind for your office and shared some of the efforts we have made at SPUR!
1. Conserve Energy– By turning computers and printers to power-saving mode when not in use, you can save around $5 on your energy bill per month! This is because most Energy Star computers use less than 2 watts of energy once put to sleep mode. That being said, when purchasing appliances for your office, look to see if there are Energy Star options, a certification that ensures reduced energy consumption. At SPUR, our two computers and printer go to sleep mode at the end of the day, and lights are always off when the rooms are not in use!
2. Minimize Waste – Do you use disposable dishes? One-time use paper plates and plastic silverware go straight to the landfill! Consider purchasing a set of reusable dishes for your office just like the bright orange set we have here at SPUR. When disposable dishes are necessary, choose biodegradable paper products or products made from recycled materials!
3. Recycle – Fortunately, in Minnesota we are very lucky to have easily accessible recycling programs! Have you seen all of the recycling bins around SPUR? We use them! Sometimes it’s hard to know what exactly is recyclable, so check out some of the resources online like Recycle More Minnesota, an organization that provides lists of what’s recyclable in your county. Here at SPUR we are hoping to start using the Grounds to Grow On recycling program for our coffee k-cups which will keep them out of the landfill while recycling the plastic and using the grounds for compost!
4. Reconsider Your Habits – Even though it might not be realistic to ride a bike to SPUR in the midst of this snow and cold, come spring, perhaps you can reconsider your office commute! Furthermore, being right downtown we are a brief walk from the Haiwathaland Bus stops. If your place of work has many commuters, consider starting a ride share board!
Certainly there are many aspects of office practices to evaluate when thinking about “being green,” but the most important part is getting the conversation started! Conservation not only has positive effects for the environment, but also can be a cost-saving strategy for your office! Stay tuned for more of SPUR’s efforts to stay sustainable and ideas on office sustainability!
Blog post written by St. Olaf Intern, Camille.