green sprout from conference table

5 Small Ways to Green Your Workday

Spring is in the air and everything seems to be getting greener by the day. Unless, of course, you’re covered in the latest snowstorm, but it’ll be green soon enough! And spring is a great time to take a look at your daily work routine and make small changes to be green.

Being eco-friendly at work is easy and can even be fun if you bring some coworkers along for the environmental ride. As Earth Day approaches in April, let’s take a look at some of the easiest ways to bring a little more green to your workday.

Green your commute. There are a few different ways to make your commute to work more environmentally friendly. Try commuting at off-peak hours (going in earlier or later than rush hour) to spend less time on the road. Or fit your five day schedule into a four day work-week, and cut your commuting carbon emissions by 20 percent. Better yet, telecommute and you’ll cut your CO2 emissions from commuting down to zero.

Eat your way to green. Bring your lunch to work in reusable containers rather than plastic bags or aluminum foil. Don’t forget regular silverware and reusable napkins. Stop it with the bottled water, already! Use a reusable water bottle or bring a regular old glass to work and fill up at the water cooler. And if you’re really feeling green, keep used coffee grounds from the office coffee machine and bring them home to feed your indoor and outdoor plants or add to your compost pile.

Go “au natural” with your lighting. According to the Sierra Club, “Artificial lighting accounts for 44 percent of the electricity use in office buildings.” Keep your lights off as much as possible, or opt for CFL or LED light bulbs. Tell your building manager this simple fact and inspire them to upgrade the whole building to energy-efficient lighting!

Cut down on paper use. If you work near a fully stocked office supply closet, it can be tempting to go “shopping” and stock up on supplies you don’t need. Instead, be green and reuse file folders by flipping them inside out. Or better yet, computerize as many files as you can and skip paper filing altogether. Cut used paper or misprints into smaller pieces to use as notepads rather than throwing it away. And e-mail or call to unsubscribe yourself from junk mail, trade magazines, and other paper mailings you have no use for.

Get 100s more ideas to go green every day. If you’re inspired by these green tips, check out Practically Green for literally thousands more tips to green not just your workday, but your entire day. Their site is free to use, and it’s set up to inspire you to do more and more. Before you know it, your entire day will be eco-friendly!

Brie Weiler Reynolds is the Director of Content and Community at FlexJobs, the award-winning site for telecommuting, flexible schedule, and freelance job listings. For over four years, Brie has been telecommuting full-time as she and her husband move around the country, and she offers career, telecommuting, and work-life balance advice through the FlexJobs Blog and social media. Find her on Twitter @FlexJobs.


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