By KRISTEN NOWAK WINN
Whether youâ€™re the head honcho at the office or still working your way up the corporate ladder, there are plenty of ways to do your part to go green.
Doing so can help employees take pride in their place of work and provide an environmentally friendly environment. And unlike sales calls or monthly revenues, thereâ€™s no quota â€” every little bit helps.
A few months ago, I stuck a plastic container in the Gazetteâ€™s break room to collect used alkaline batteries. It never seems worth it to drive to a recycling facility with my small handful, so I figured combining it with others would make a trip more worthwhile. So far, weâ€™ve filled up three or four containers.
In what ways can you contribute to make your work space a little greener?
o Pitch in. If your work doesnâ€™t already have recycling receptacles, offer to organize a system. An easy place to pitch glass, plastic or aluminum is in the lunch room, next to the trash can. Ask if thereâ€™s a way for the city you work in to collect the recycling; if not, you may want to volunteer and dispose of it on your own.
o Think before you print. Do you really need a hard copy of that e-mail? Can you forward an e-mail to a coworker instead of leaving a paper version on his or her desk? Saving paper and ink not only helps the environment, but it also cuts down on company costs. If everyone did this, the savings could potentially add up to more dollars in your paycheck.
o Share the wealth. When youâ€™re done reading magazines at home, why not bring them in to work instead of tossing them in the trash? Fellow employees might take delight in giving reading materials a second life. This goes for old cookbooks, samples of products you wonâ€™t use, leftover coupons from the Sunday paper, etc.
o Shut down. Always turn off your computer when you leave for the day; leaving it on standby mode still sucks up power. And if youâ€™re the last person to leave the office, remember to flick off light switches on your way out.
o Inspire. Encourage others to do their part, but be gentle â€” no one likes the Recycling Police.
Winn may be reached at 330-721-4053 or firstname.lastname@example.org.