Make Your Office a Lean Green Machine

Everyone's going green; even the blue people in Avatar are coinciding their DVD release date with Earth Day's 40th Anniversary. So why shouldn't you?

Kermit jokes aside, it's not easy being green ... but here are a few tips and tricks you can implement at the office. Not only is it a good thing to do for the environment, but also in being proactive and positive, you will set yourself apart from your coworkers -- and who knows where that might lead? Ozone-layered sky's the limit!

After talking it over with your supervisor, I suggest you tie this idea in with Earth Day (April 22), make an announcement, and perhaps host a little party to introduce the new recycling policies. Here's a quick five things you can do.

1. Get those nifty blue wastepaper baskets with the "recycle" logo on them. Depending on the size of your office and work force, it could be one for each person, or a larger bin in the break room. Got an upscale office and the plain blue just won't do? You're bound to find something cool and classy, as well as environmentally friendly, among the selections at

2. Recycle (i.e., reuse) your office supplies. Things such as file folders can be retagged with new adhesive labels; rubber bands needn't be thrown away; and before discarding that sheaf of papers remove and save the paperclip. can give you even more suggestions on little things that make a big difference (bet you didn't know about soy-based ink!).

3. Speaking of paper, when you print something nonessential (or in error), use the blank side to print something else or as "scratch paper." Have a special recycle paper bin set next to your printer as a reminder. Furthermore, you should be purchasing recycled paper in the first place. Staples has it.

4. Don't throw those shipping boxes away -- save them for when you need to send something out at a later date. Break them down and lay them flat to save space. You should also save the Styrofoam pellets and packing paper for reuse. lists 103 more things you can do to go green in the workplace.

5. When it comes to commuting, there are a few things you can try that will help decrease pollutants. For those nearby, a walking or biking "pool" is not only an ozone-saver, it's a calorie-zapper. Carpooling is an option for those not nearby, and better yet is working from home. offers some interesting and persuasive materials you can present to your boss.

Earth Day is only a week away. Celebrate it in good conscience.

Next:Where Are the Green Jobs? >>

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