For the Season and Beyond
1. Season’s “Greenings”
Go paperless! It’s not too late to send your eco-friendly holiday greetings via email.
2. Give the Gift that Gives Back
Instead of buying gifts, organize an activity for your employees to give back to the community. This can be as simple as holding a food or toy drive, or as involved as volunteering to serve dinner at a local food shelter. Make a company donation to charity or an environmental project.
3. Keep it Chill
Turn down the thermostat in your office by two degrees. It will probably make your office more comfortable while saving energy.
Consider unplugging electronics in the office before you leave for your holiday break. You will save energy and help the equipment last longer. You might also want to unplug and unwind yourself to recharge for the new year.
Conserve energy and resources by switching off lights when not in use, especially incandescent holiday lights. Consider purchasing efficient LED holiday lights for next year if you don’t already have them. They use up to 75% less energy and last ten times longer.
6. Decorate Green
Keep it simple. Buy decorations that you can use every year so they are one-time purchases rather than annual purchases.
7. Eat, Drink and Be Green
Serve green beverages and food at your office holiday party. Buy products that are organic or have environmentally-conscious standards. Also consider the carbon footprint of your menu. Go local or pick a restaurant close to your office to cut down on wasteful travel.
8. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Reduce waste by recycling wrapping paper, shipping boxes and using reusable dishes and flatware at your office party instead of buying paper or plastic. Make it easy for employees to to recycle by providing labeled recycling bins.
9. Have a Water Efficient Holiday Office Party Cleanup
If your company rents linens or plates, send them back dirty. Rental companies are required to wash the items upon return. You can also relax and use the diswasher – it is actually more enviornmentally friendly than hand-washing. You will use much less soap and about 80% less water.
10. Waste Not, Want Not
Donate unopened catering trays of food from your holiday party to the local food shelter or send employees back with leftovers they can share with their families.
11. Share the Giving
Encourage employees to regift useful items that they don’t need to others who can use them. Organize a recycling drive so that employees who receive gadgets as gifts can recycle or donate their old electronics.
Have everyone make a green resolution for the new year to make the office greener. A few to consider – carpool or bike to work, bring your own coffee mug to the office, or make the switch to eco-friendly soy-based inks.