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Has Your Office Gone Green?

I keep hearing about employers that offer lucrative benefits to help employees live greener lives, but a recent squabble over mugs on the Private Practice got me thinking about how much trash offices churn out.

Paper, paper cups, paper towels, plastic utensils — the list goes on and on. Is your workplace doing its part to keep the office green-friendly?

Photo copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.

SDTransplant SDTransplant 9 years
We have single-stream recycling at work and motion-sensor lights, so I try my best to recycle paper/cans/plastic cups and turn off lights when I'm not in the room. However, my office is notorious for printing, and I shudder to think of how many reams of paper we usually go through in a week. Also, people here have a tendency to leave the A/C on in the summers and the heat on in the winters, even when they leave for the day. It's wasteful.
piper23 piper23 9 years
I wish. I work for the government and they buy styrofoam cups because they are cheaper. :(
gemsera gemsera 9 years
I work for a global telco, so the lights etc are all motion based. we dont have pcs we have laptops that go with us so no pcs are left on overnight. They are cutting emissions by like 20% over the next 10 years so they are doing their bit..
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
My office makes me SICK. We don't even recycle paper!
Deidre Deidre 9 years
By the way, I'm noticing most of the comments are regarding recycling. Remember that going green is about energy use too! Change the settings on your computer to go into stand-by mode when you're away from your desk for 10 minutes. Also remember to turn everything off at the end of the day -- computer, monitor, lights, etc. Open your blinds to let in more natural light if possible. These things will not only help go green, but also help with your company's overall costs.
Deidre Deidre 9 years
Working for an environmental I think it goes without saying!
hippiecowgirl hippiecowgirl 9 years
We have both a trash can and a paper recycling bin under each desk. Beyond that, there's nothing. I've brought the topic up with my supervisor, but he doesn't seem interested in taking it any further.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
julieulie--I work in a microbiology lab too. We generate TONS of trash that definitely has to be autoclaved before being disposed of. We go through hundreds of petri dishes a day and it sucks that the plastic in them can't be recycled. However, we DO recycle all our paper and cardboard, so at least we're doing what we can. Plus, a lot of us carpool to work to save on that's also a big help to the environment.
valancyjane valancyjane 9 years
My office talks about "going green" when it's convenient. When we switched to an online payroll system, so we didn't get pay stubs but had to look that up online, they said it was in an effort to be green. But people leave the lights on all the time and we have bleached paper towels in the bathrooms. So it's a little spotty. Our building is green in the sense that it's repurposed industrial - we used to be an overall factory. It makes for an attractive building AND we didn't contribute to sprawl.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
my office has started to make a few changes, however they really haven't been that successful just yet. it's interesting though since we're moving buildings in January - they are making the new office MUCH more green. we will all have very limited space so we cannot print out things all the time and EVERYTHING will be recycled. also, the materials that the office is being made from are all going to be sustainable materials which is something nice - even if it's not the prettiest.
Marni7 Marni7 9 years
our whole campus is now the "green campus" of the University..we even have a center for sustainability and they do a bunch of cool stuff..I actually was at a meeting this morning and catering used these utensils and plates that were recycled or something..the material was strange. it actually costs alot more to use them
Purple-Damsel02 Purple-Damsel02 9 years
We have a "Run It Like You Own It" thing... and more offers to get newsletters via email instead of magazine. We have a lot of confidential info, too, so we have shred bins for those and I assume they recycle? Idk.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
We have to separate our own garbage into the various recycle containers plus we have one for compost now.
gemsera gemsera 9 years
At work we have recycling for plastics, cardboard, aluminium, almost everything. and paper of course. At home we recycle all cans, bottles, plastics in the local recycling bins, and we have a compost heap. We do our bit :)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
My office is basically me, and yeah, it's green.
julieulie julieulie 9 years
We do what we can, but we can't exactly "go green." I work in a laboratory that does a lot of cell culture, so we produce a TON of plastic waste from the cell culture dishes, pipettes, etc. Bags and bags of plastic garbage a day -- not recyclable, of course, because it all has to be autoclaved since it's touched biohazardous materials. But when it comes to regular waste -- soda cans and printer paper and the like -- we're responsible about that.
sonya-ina sonya-ina 9 years
Per my suggestion, we started recycling. We were going to get a worm composting system, but haven't done that quite yet, hehe.
WeTheLiving WeTheLiving 9 years
I started paper recycling in the office because I noticed there was sooo much paper being just thrown away. I have a box at my desk for it and several other people keep small boxes for their papers and unload it in my box occasionally. The confidential stuff gets shredded first, then bagged and put w/ recycling. Then I take the box and drop it off at a recycling bin on my way home every couple of weeks. Only about half the office participates, but they're happy to do so. My town finally put in a bin where you can recycle plastic and metal too, so I started a box for bottles and cans recently and let everyone know and it's slowly filling up. I really wish the building had a bin for recycling on-site, but I guess it's not a big concern right now.
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