Green Your Routine!

Evlighbulber wonder what positive shifts your office could make that would help improve the environment, (not to mention save energy, your time and money)? Here at NTA headquarters, we’ve slowly been discovering ways to do just that. By changing our habits in the office and at Business Builder events, we’re doing our part to reduce energy consumption and protect our earth by simply, Keepin’ It Green!

In the last Do Big Things blog post, Follow These Green STEPS to Reduce Your Ecological Footprint, we discussed ways the travel industry is rapidly going green and what “steps” your business can take to follow suit. In this week’s post, we’re expanding on the green theme by sharing ideas that can transform your office environment into an environmentally friendly zone, too! Here are a few, “green” tips that will help you and your employees consume less, leaving you little to no waste, while keeping the cost to a minimum:

Lights On or Off?

Flipping the switch when you leave a room can make all the difference. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the cost effectiveness of turning your lights off depends on the type of light bulb you use, plus the cost of electricity. Read more about the bulbs you use and when it’s a good idea to shut them off (or leave them on), here. Another thought to consider is using sensors, timers, and other automatic lighting controls, suggests energy.gov in When to Turn Off Your Lights.

Recycle & Reuse.

recylceThe U.S. office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year, claims the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. So how can you reduce that amount? The easiest way to encourage recycling behavior around the office is by strategically placing recycling bins in high traffic areas, preferable next to trash cans, beside printers and copiers, and in lounge or kitchen areas for recyclable bottles, cans and plastics.

Ink cartridges are another great example to reuse rather than recycle. Instead of purchasing cartridges each time they’re empty, opt to refill the one you have at a local office supplies store, like Staples.

NOTE: Most recyclable items can often times be reused! For example, a cardboard box can be used for shipping, the reverse side of a sheet of paper for test prints, plastic grocery bags for carrying items etc. Some of these items are handy to keep around for those last minute projects.

Be Energy Efficient.

printFor a “greener” and more energy efficient office environment, check out these quick tips:

  • Open windows when it’s nice out instead of turning on the air conditioning.
  • Replace regular bulbs with energy saving bulbs.
  • Use natural lighting from windows instead of artificial lighting.
  • Ditch the towel paper in the restrooms and kitchen for a hand dryer or a towel.
  • Shut down your computer each day, especially on Fridays before the weekend!
  • Adjust your monitor to automatically go to “sleep” when you’re away from your desk for long periods of time.
  • Consider mocking up a PowerPoint slide show instead of printing handouts for meetings.
  • Include a “Think Before You Print” line in your email signature.
  • Use your legs and opt for the stairs instead of the elevator. Or, consider riding your bike rather than driving to work!

Donate.

If you’re thinking of doing an office makeover, donate any unused materials and/or office furniture to your local school or non-profit organization.

If you’re a member of NTA and looking to go green beyond the office and into the travel industry, then join NTA’s Sustainable Travel International’s STEP Program. This program is specifically designed to aid tourism businesses of all sizes to ensure the preservation of destinations and cultures.

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