5 New Ways to Green Your Office

By Lindsey Galloway

So your office already recycles, reuses printer paper, and everyone turns off the lights in the kitchen when they go back to their desks. But this Earth Day get ready to make your workplace even more eco-conscious with these unconventional ways to protect your productivity and the planet.

Hide your equipment. And we don’t mean hoarding staples. Large pieces of office equipment like printers, scanners, and fax machines off-gas harmful chemicals and create electromagnetic fields that can sap energy, explains Sarah Barnard, an LEED-certified (a rating system for green building) interior designer. Contain them in a closet or room that vents to the outdoors to minimize exposure.
Battle other offices. Get a little eco-friendly competition going by joining carbonrally.com and encouraging other companies in your office building to do the same. You can take on challenges each week and compete at cutting the most carbon.
Seal particleboard furniture. If your office furniture has a wood veneer or looks like it was made of plywood, Barnard suggests sealing it with a product like Safe Seal from AFM Safecoat to prevent harmful off-gassing.
Commute after hours. If you can’t bike, bus, or walk to work, ask your boss for a flexible schedule so you can skip rush-hour traffic. “Less idling means less pollution,” says eco-lifestyle coach Gina Diamond.
Travel smarter. Gotta travel for work? If your office can’t afford to buy carbon offsets for airline travel, you can still reduce your footprint by staying in eco-friendly lodging. Find the best at istaygreen.com.
Google better. Do your internet searches with blackle.com, suggests Diamond. Monitors use less energy displaying the black-screened, Google-powered search engine.