Ways to Run an Environmentally Friendly Office

Whether you run an entire office or are just the king of your cubicle, there are some pretty easy things that you can do to help make your work space a more environmentally place.

Since it looks like being green is here to stay, it’s probably about time that you jumped on the bandwagon and took advantage of some simple ways to help reduce your office’s carbon footprint:

  • Turn off your computer when you leave for the day.  Unless you’re planning on coming back in the middle of the night and you absolutely have to have your computer already up and running, go ahead and power down for the night.
  • Turn off the lights in common areas once everyone leaves.  There’s no point in leaving the light on in the copy room if it’s going to sit unused for 13 or 14 hours each night. Same goes for every other common area in your office.
  • Get some small indoor plants.  If you’re lucky enough to have an office with a window, most any plant should do ok.  However, if you don’t have a window, make sure you do a little bit of research and check out which plants can survive in your office without lots of direct sunlight.
  • Use Energy Star certified equipment. From your monitor, to your copier to the vending machines in the lunchroom, make sure that all of the equipment you use in the office is Energy Star certified. Energy efficient 1st replacement windows are another alternative to save you money. Look for the AAMA Certification.
  • Start a recycling program.  Get some plastic, glass and aluminum bins for the lunch room, and put recycling boxes in printing rooms.  It’s pretty easy to do and it might even show that you have some initiative.  That being said, you’re going to want to make sure that you don’t recycle company sensitive information; you’ll definitely want to shred that instead.
  • Don’t print if you don’t have to.  The biggest use of trees is for paper, so theoretically, if we reduce the amount of paper we use, we’ll reduce the amount of trees that get cut down.  And if you have to use a ton of paper, go the green route and buy recycled office paper.
  • Bring in a coffee mug.  Instead of getting a new styrofoam or disposable cup each day, bring in a regular coffee mug from home and just rinse it out at the end of each day.  This is a great and simple way to reduce needless trash.

While this certainly isn’t the be all, end all of ways you can make your office more environmentally friendly, this list is a pretty good place to start.  And the best part is, doing many of these things won’t really put you out or force you to change too many habits.

I know it sounds pretty cliche, but if each of us would do just a couple of small things to reduce our impact, we could probably do a lot to help stave off the global environmental crisis.


  1. We can also add up there:

    1) Replacing desk lamp bulbs with CFLs or LCDs.
    2) Replacing exit signs with LED exit signs
    3) Requesting a Duplexer for your printer/s
    4) Set office computers on more stringent energy settings, such as hard drive spin down and monitor blackout times.
    5) Have the office use a programmable thermostat so the building isn’t being heated/cooled over the weekend when no one is there or if someone forgets to adjust the temperature on Friday…

    I like this post. I made a
    similar one
    for the home a few days ago.

  2. AngrySicilian – thanks for the comment and the additional ideas. I enjoyed your post about ways to save energy around the house.

  3. 1 Button To WiFi Gal says

    At our office we are doing less driving by having our meetings through teleconferences. Its a great way to save money and time:-)

  4. Environmentally Friendly Office Products says

    Another great way to help make your office green is to use environmentally friendly office products. Pendaflex has file folders called “Earthwise” that are made from 100% recycled fibers with a minimum of 50% post consumer material.

    I use them because I have to have a filing system in my office and I can’t avoid using paper. Hope this helps someone else!

  5. Thank you for the great web site – a true resource, and one that many people clearly enjoy. Keep up the good work.

  6. Good tips. Ive found it really beneficial to be saving money around the office. It really helps from the big the small things. There is an opportunity everywhere to save more money and improve efficiency.

  7. Great ARticle. I love that the green products trend is catching on even in the workplace. I’ve done my best to get the office recycling and saving as much power and paper as possible. We never use plastic silverware or paper cups either.


  1. coRank says:

    7 Easy Ways to Run an Environmentally Friendly Office

    Whether you run an entire office or are just the king of your cubicle, there are some easy things you can do to help make your work space a more environmentally place. Since being green is here to stay, it ’s probably about time that you jumped on