Greener Office: Less Paper

Graymatter’s Guide To Greener Business Practices
Part Three

Don’t Be A Paper Pusher.

  1. Digitize
    It does seem a bit strange that in the .digital age. we still consume enormous amounts of mashed up, bleached tree pulp, most of which gets used once or twice and then tossed or recycled (.downcycled,. as McDonough and Braungart would call it). The greenest paper is no paper at all, so keep things digital and dematerialized whenever possible. The more you do online, the less you need paper. Keep files on computers instead of in file cabinets (this also makes it easier to make offsite backup copies or take them with you when you move to a new office). Review documents onscreen rather than printing them out. Send emails instead of paper letters. New software like Greenprint helps eliminate blank pages from documents before printing and can also convert to PDF for paperless document sharing.
  2. Don.t Be a Paper Pusher
    When buying printer paper, look for recycled paper with a high percentage of post-consumer content and the minimum of chlorine bleaching. Even recycled paper gobbles up a great deal of energy, water, and chemical resources in its processing (toxic pulp slurry is the paper recycling industry.s dirty secret). When using the real stuff, print on both sides of the page when appropriate and use misprints as notepaper. Try to choose printers and photocopiers that do double-sided printing. If your office ships packages, reuse boxes and use shredded waste paper as packing material.

Greener Office: Cleaner Air

Graymatter’s Guide To Greener Business Practices

Part Two

The Air You Breathe

NASA scientists prove that house plants can remove air pollution from indoor environments.

When I first heard about NASA sending plants into space, I imagined ivy growing long tendrils in all directions like weightless spiders.  Since then, research in the pollution fighting properties of plants has been carried out by several scientists including Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a senior research scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, Bay St. Louis, Miss.

While more research is needed, studies show that houseplants help eliminate certain toxins, counteract out-gassing and contribute to balanced internal humidity.   They even may provide a natural way of helping combat “Sick Building Syndrome”. Continue reading “Greener Office: Cleaner Air”

Green Web Hosting?

"Green what?" I knew my questions were usually annoying.

"Web hosting."

"What does that do?"

"It’s hosting," he explains, "It’s where your website lives."

"Huh.  Where it lives."   That took a bit more explaining to work for me.

 

 

 

How To Green Your Office

Graymatter’s Guide To Greener Business Practices

Part One

Find Sustainable Strategies

When we set out to go green at work, I was amazed to learn how toxic our office was (and still is!).   Nearly everything was suspect.  Obvious culprits like computers and light bulbs didn’t surprise me but I hadn’t considered the adhesive on post-its, the ink in the toner cartridges or the furniture itself.  It was almost too much information, which made the process seem daunting.  So, after a deep breath,  we decided to take things one step at a time. As a matter of fact, I came to realize that the act of going green itself can be waistful.  You don’t necessarily want to rush right out and get rid of old computers and furniture (unless you have a hyper sensitive immune system).  That just adds to a landfill.  As with anything, the middle path, the path of moderation is often the wisest.  We came up with some broad stroke ‘strategies’, and I use that term loosely, that were sustainable to the environment and to our budget.  So, for us going green is an on-going process.  We’re more green today than we were yesterday but not as green as we’ll be tomorrow (I hope!).

Here are some of the first sustainable ‘strategies’ we came up with.  Maybe they’ll work for you or maybe you’ll come up with your own. Continue reading “How To Green Your Office”