Ideas for promoting a greener office

Here are some things Green Teams can do to help us and our colleagues foster a stronger appreciation for our natural environment, and together make a difference:
  • Reducing waste

    • MEDA Green Team Guide Icon1Make sure your office has recycling bins in every room if recycling is supported in your area. If not, be creative on how you can re-use and minimize the glass, metal, plastic and paper that your office typically discards.

    • Declare a ‘no-print’ day. Encourage colleagues to use only electronic versions of documents for reviewing and sharing. Set ‘double-sided’ as the default setting on printers.

    • Save discarded papers that are printed on one side only and use them for scrap paper. Set-up places to keep GOOS (good on one side) paper.

    • Place a compost bin in the kitchen. Find out if any of your colleagues have a garden at home and if they would be willing to bring office compost home one or two days a week. Set up a rotation so staff can take turns.

    • In washrooms and kitchens: use cloth towels rather than paper.

    • Put up a small poster in the kitchen to encourage staff to bring in garbage-less lunches and snacks. Remind them to use thermoses or cups instead of plastic.
  • Saving energy

    • MEDA Green Team Guide Icon2Replace light bulbs in the office with energy-saving bulbs if available, and promote the purchase of energy-saving appliances and equipment.

    • Encourage colleagues to take the stairs instead of the elevator.

    • Unplug cell phone chargers, laptops, TVs and anything else with an LED display – the so-called ‘energy vampires’ – until you need them.

    • Equip kitchens and bathrooms with lights that turn off automatically after some time. Or, put up signs to remind people to turn lights off when leaving these rooms.

    • Minimize use of heat and air conditioning. In warm weather, close blinds when the sun is shining brightly to keep rooms cooler.
  • Conserving water

    • MEDA Green Team Guide Icon3Encourage your office to stop using plastic water bottles. Make sure your kitchen is stocked with plenty of glasses and mugs, and encourage colleagues to bring in their own non-disposable water bottles.

    • Repair leaky faucets and running toilets right away.

    • If your office has a dishwasher appliance, use the economy setting and only run when it is full.

    • Don’t pour water down the drain that can be used for watering plants.

    • Keep a jug of water in the refrigerator instead of letting the faucet run until the water is cold.
  • Improving health

    • MEDA Green Team Guide Icon4Encourage exercise – for example, when going out for lunch with colleagues, walk rather than drive.

    • Plan green lunches, such as a monthly salad club where MEDA provides the greens and everyone else brings in a different topping to share.

    • Green lunch and learn, about a topic in environment/climate change
  • Connecting to a global cause

    • MEDA Green Team Guide Icon5Earth Day is celebrated globally on April 22nd. Engage your office in observing it by showing a video, putting up a poster, or trying out some of the activities above.

    • Earth Hour is a worldwide movement organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature every March, where people are encouraged to turn off their lights for one hour to recognize our global need to conserve energy.

    • Celebrate International Day of Forests (March 21 annually).

    • Others?

MEDA Green Team Guide Icon6Resources

Here are some links to short videos you can show at meetings or events.

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