We all know that being green is important, it can help the environment and that we should be doing it. The "tough" part is putting that theory into practice, especially in the office where you might want to implement green initiatives but since no one else has hopped on the green scheme, it's a seemingly impossible task. So how do you get everyone to realize that being green is not that difficult? That takes a little bit of exploring.
To start, we all know that a "paper-less" office is not in the near future, at all. Back in the 1980's there was talk about a paper-less office and look where we are three decades later, still using paper! That is where being green comes in. Instead of trying to use no paper at all, we have realized that it is OK to use paper and that all we have to do is keep in mind some simple tips for staying green and reducing our paper consumption, not nixing it. When you and others in the office do so, you will soon see how the amount of paper and other materials that you use drastically decreases. And these tips are so easy, just posting them around the office is bound to get people on board (even better, send an e-mail to reduce paper consumption!).
The key to being able to implement green initiatives in your office is to have a trusted and quality records management provider. A partner that realizes the same "be green" theme that your office does (or plans to) and recycles all of the material from your office after it is shredded as well as aids you in staying on track with your records retention schedule. Once you have partnered up with your RM, how green your office actually becomes starts with YOU.
So what can you do to make an impact and reduce your footprint?
1. Reduce the amount of paper you produce and thus reduce the amount that is shredded saving time, money, and energy. To do this, create a plan that determines what types of documents are to be printed and what documents should be kept as electronic files. Also, determine what types of documents can be scanned and sent to colleagues rather than making paper copies for them. Make sure everyone gets an e-mail about this!
2. Do double sided printing when printing is necessary. Use any misprints as scrap or notepaper.
3. Use stick labels in the top corners of faxes rather than creating a fax cover sheet from a whole piece of paper.
4. Over time, by reducing the amount of paper you produce, you in turn reduce the probability of duplicate record which will then reduce the total amount of records that you end up having to put in storage (or shred if you actually end up finding the duplicate record before it gets boxed up for storage).
This overall decrease in paper production will save your office money in paper costs which will carry over to a lesser production of paper which means less records management cost to you!
Remember, implementing one or two easy to follow simple steps for being green is more likely to get people to actually do them rather than a long and daunting hard to follow list that may actually turn people off to the idea.
Other tips for keeping green around the office:
Buy paper with the highest percentage post-consumer recycled content
Use unbleached and uncolored paper
Shut down all computers at night and put printers and faxes on sleep mode
Order office supplies in bulk to reduce the amount of packing material needed for your shipments
Carpool with others from the office if they live close to you
Bring in your own mug for coffee in the morning rather than using disposable cups (this carries on to your own silverware, dishes, etc.)
If applicable to the office, have one day that everyone works from home (either a Monday or a Friday) to reduce energy consumption at the office and safe fuel
For more tips on staying green in the office (including where to buy green office supplies) and how to reduce your overall carbon footprint everyday, please visit to following sites: