Four Simple Ways To Make Your Office Greener

June 2, 2008

It would be nice if we could all work in a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified building to show that our workplace complies with the highest environmentally friendly and energy saving standards approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. But short of a costly remodel, what can you do to make your office greener? These are a few of the steps that we've undertaken at Digett.

Go Paperless

GoogleDocs is a web-based word processor that allows documents to be shared and edited collaboratively. It's much simpler and more efficient than having to attach Word documents to emails and provides more interactivity and version control. We've all but given up using the Microsoft Office suite of tools at Digett, save for when our clients' needs dictate otherwise.

The environmentally friendly side of this innovation is the reduction of the amount of printed paper. Rather than printing out a file, writing on it, and sending notes back, GoogleDocs allows you to edit the document online while your co-worker can see any changes in real time. It cuts down on paper while increasing efficiency.

Recycle

Our office complex doesn't offer a recycling service or pick up but we aren't letting that stop us. We've started self-sorting aluminum and paper instead of trashing it. After some research, our Office Manager, Cindy, found a few local places that would accept these materials for recycling.

Many schools and churches keep recycling bins on their campuses. Keep an eye around your neighborhood for local programs of which you can take advantage.

Adjust Existing Energy Eaters

The U.S. Department of Energy reports a potential 10% savings on heating and cooling bills a year by turning the thermostat back 10-15 degrees for eight hours. While your office is empty at night, save money by bumping the thermostat. After three and a half years in our new office, Digett finally installed a programmable thermostat, which does a much better job of "remembering" to adjust itself than we could ever do.

Save power by adjusting the wattage output of your office lighting. Consider installing dimmers, motion sensors, photosensors or timers to control the time and amount of energy consumed by light fixtures. Our recently-installed dimmers save energy, and also contribute to a more comfortably-lit workplace. The Digett team seems to concentrate a little better without the bright lights.

Set Personal Goals

What else are Digett team members doing?

  • Digett President Mark Figart recently began riding his bike to work. 

  • Intern Mike Heitzke promotes using Blackle.com, essentially a customized Google search page with a black background, instead of Google's white, which they say requires less power for a monitor to display.


Does your office have any cool energy saving tips to pass on? We'd love to hear them.