Using Teamwork to Achieve an Eco-Friendly Office


Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Office. Use the power of teamwork to reduce your carbon footprint. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

1. Go Green.

I mean buy green. To complete the recycling life cycle, you should buy recycled materials. Did you know that recycled materials take less energy to create than new materials? For instance, recycled paper uses up to 50% less energy and 90% less water than paper made from trees. Consider buying recycled paper, recycled pens and pencils and even recycled light bulbs.

2. Use the Off Switch.

Office equipment counts for 20% to 70% of the energy used in the workplace. Some simple steps can greatly reduce the amount of electricity used in an office. Shutting down computers and switching off monitors at the end of the day can make a big difference. Leaving a monitor on overnight wastes the equivalent of 800 laser printed pages per computer. Don’t stop there. Also turn off printers and copiers. One more – switch off the lights on your way out the door. Training your whole team to do these simple tasks can save not only the environment, but also money.

3. Save Some Trees.

The average office worker uses 100 sheets of paper per day. Reduce this count by sharing information by email rather than printing memos and newsletters. This will limit the amount of printing and copying done in the office. Also, encourage double-sided printing when possible.

4. Encourage Using Public Transportation.

Offer incentives to staff to who bike, walk, metro, bus or carpool to work. these employees will be reducing the negative impact on the environment.

5. Set Up an Eco-Friendly Kitchen.

Next time your replacing that office microwave purchase an energy-efficient model and go for the smallest option possible. Consider replacing those paper cups with coffee mugs and make everyone responsible for washing their own mug.

6. Encourage Simple Recycling.

Set up recycling stations in the office with bins for paper, cardboard, plastics and glass. Make sure to label the containers to encourage usage.

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In conclusion, all of these tips are very doable and will take a big step to becoming an eco-friendly office. Maybe your team will even take their new practices home with them!

Additional posts of interest:

Rethink your office space and how it functions for you

How Inspiring is Your Office?

Setting Boundaries in Your Home Office

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Janet Schiesl

Janet has been organizing since 2005. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and the owner of Basic Organization. She loves using her background as a space planner to challenge her clients to look at their space differently. She leads the team in large projects and works one-on-one with clients to help the process move quickly and comfortably. Call her crazy, but she loves to work with paper, to purge what is not needed and to create filing systems that work for each individual client. Janet is a Past President of the Washington DC Chapter of the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals (NAPO) and was voted 2016 Organizer of the Year by the Washington DC Chapter of NAPO.


  1. From Eco Stationery to Recycling – a Guide to a Greener Office on January 8, 2013 at 10:29 am

    […] Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Office […]

  2. Kaitlyn on December 27, 2016 at 11:45 am

    These are great tips! I’ve been getting into the habit of only buying recycled paper and supplies.

    • Janet Schiesl on December 27, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      Thanks for the great tips Kaitlyn. I refill printer cartridges, but haven’t moved to recycled paper yet. I try to conserve paper by only printing what is necessary.

  3. […] Eco-Friendly Tips for Your Office […]

  4. LISA GESSERT on October 26, 2020 at 6:18 am

    Great blog Janet..I loved “don’t forget the off switch” because that is one thing we always forget!! great tips here

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      Thanks Lisa. Yes. I am an offender there too.

  5. Janet Barclay on October 26, 2020 at 6:49 am

    Long before anyone was talking about going green, my co-workers and I came up with a great way to save paper when our office supply budget was cut. Instead of buying telephone message pads, we used documents that were going to be tossed out and cut them in four, using the back for messages. I still do something similar in my home office – not phone messages because we each have our own phone with voicemail, but cut in two for scribbling down things I’m trying to figure out or need to remember.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:16 pm

      I need to try this. I am still a note taker and I usually use post-its. I should start using recycled paper.

  6. Seana Turner on October 26, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I don’t go into an office, but I definitely try to keep paper use at a minimum. Like Janet, I recycle old paper into notepaper, cutting it into smaller pieces that I keep in a container on my desk. I also keep a section of my paper sorter for used paper so I can print unimportant things onto the backs of those pages. Not only is it good for the environment, but it saves money!

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:15 pm

      I have gone mostly electronic and I’m finding that I’m using a lot less paper. Recently, I let go of client “paper” files and keep everything electronically.

  7. Diane N Quintana on October 26, 2020 at 9:56 am

    I agree with Lisa – I often forget about the off switch on my office electronics. Otherwise, I’m really good about recycling and purchasing recycled materials.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:13 pm

      I do the same. I often think “oh I’ll come back later and do more work. I need to stop that.

  8. Linda Samuels on October 26, 2020 at 11:46 am

    Great tips! I could do better with shutting things off, although I thought it wasn’t a good idea to turn off my computer daily. It “goes to sleep.” While that’s not the same as off, I’m pretty sure it’s an energy-efficient setting when it’s sleeping. I do turn off my computer and printer if I’m away overnight. Although in the pandemic days, that hasn’t happened. I’m always home.

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:12 pm

      I think that is why “sleep mode” was invented. Save some energy and not have to completely power up each morning.

  9. Melanie on October 26, 2020 at 12:53 pm

    We’ve started unplugging certain small appliances in the kitchen to save on electricity since they are easy to power on and off. We’re also looking at putting most of our outlets on timers to aid in this practice. Great ideas to expand on here, Janet!!!

    • Janet Schiesl on October 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      Thank Melanie. I don’t always practice what I preach here. I’m bad at turning off my computer. If everyone in my house did this we’d probably save some money on our electric bill.

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