Since spring has officially sprung, it's the perfect time to start going green around the office. Not only are eco-friendly practices good for the Earth, many can actually save your business money in the long run. Here are eight easy yet highly effective ways to make your office greener.

  1. Implement a Recycling Program – This can be as simple as setting bins designated for specific recycling waste (e.g. paper, aluminum, etc.) around the office. Check with the building manager or superintendent to find out whether or not the city stops by to pick up recycling waste in addition to the garbage (much like they do in many residential neighborhoods). From glass bottles to cardboard boxes, encourage employees to recycle everything they can and consider designating an eco-conscious employee to oversee the office's recycling efforts.
  2. Vanquish Vampire Power – Electronics that are turned off but plugged into an electrical outlet can still suck electricity. Hence the name vampire power (or also known as phantom power). At the end of the day, have employees not only power off all electronics and equipment, but unplug them as well. The reduced energy use will directly translate into savings on your electricity bill.
  3. Get an Energy Audit – Most local utility companies offer free energy audits. They'll come out to your office and help identify areas where you can increase energy efficiency and subsequently save money (such as installing a programmable thermostat or fixing or replacing leaky windows).
  4. Reduce Office Transportation – If possible, allow employees to telecommute from home every once in awhile. Or encourage employees to carpool and offer incentives (e.g. a preferred parking spot) for those who do. Travel for meetings only when necessary and improvise with conference calling or video conferencing.
  5. Install CFL Bulbs – According to Energy Star, compact fluorescent light bulbs use nearly 70 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they last nearly ten times as long.
  6. Purchase Energy-Star Rated Equipment – When purchasing new office equipment such as computers and printers, look for models with the Energy Star logo. This indicates the machine uses less energy than comparable models.
  7. Offer Direct Debit – Allowing a customer to pay via direct debit payment cuts down on the amount of paper used to make the payment. While one customer doing it may not seem like much, imagine how much paper could be saved in the majority of your customers paid via direct debit. Similarly, offer direct debit for employees instead of issuing paper-based checks.
  8. Monitor Paper Usage – It sounds obvious but this is one of the easiest and most effective ways to make an office greener. The average office generates more than 1.5 pounds of paper waste every single day. Print only when necessary, opt for double-sided printing, reuse scrap paper, and view documents on your computer instead of printing them.