The benefits of adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle are numerous and well documented.
In addition to helping the environment, an eco-friendly lifestyle can have a positive impact on personal health.
Though many people are aware of the myriad ways they can make eco-friendly changes in their personal life, it's also important to note the ways to do so in their professional lives.
Instituting a few eco-friendly changes in your professional life is a great way to help the environment, and doing so may also benefit you and your business' bottom line.
* Start with your commute. Many professionals commute to work five days per week, and that commute presents a great opportunity to make some eco-friendly changes to your daily routine. Instead of driving to work each day, investigate the possibility of taking public transportation. Public transportation reduces the amount of cars on the road, which helps to cut down on fuel consumption and air pollution. Taking public transportation to work also saves you money, as the cost of a monthly bus or rail pass is likely much less than the cost of filling up your gas tank.
If public transportation is not an option, then suggest a car pool with coworkers who live in your area.
Each person can take turns driving from week to week, which will save you money on fuel and reduce the amount of wear and tear on your vehicle. What's more, instituting a car pool may cut down on your commute time if your community has a carpool lane on its major highways.
* Forget you have a printer. Nowadays, fewer and fewer people rely on printed documents to get through the workday. Advances with regard to computer technology has made it just as easy to read documents on a computer screen as it is to do so on a sheet of paper. If you're among the last to embrace this growing trend, think of the environment before you print your next document and opt to read documents on your desktop rather than printing them out. Instead of leaving notes for coworkers, send them e-mails instead. This saves paper, which in turn will save your company money, and it also reduces your reliance on ink that can potentially harm the environment.
When making presentations, do so using slides rather than printing materials and handing them out in a packet. E-mail coworkers the presentation in advance and print out a single copy for the meeting rather than printing multiple copies.
If you and your coworkers simply must print documents, try to use two-sided printing and copying to reduce your paper usage. And urge your office manager to order supplies made from recycled materials and discard of any potentially harmful products, including ink cartridges, in an eco-friendly way.
* Don't give up on your computer too quickly. Many professionals use their home computer for work-related reasons from time to time.
If you find your computer struggles when you work from home, investigate ways to improve the computer's performance instead of seeking a replacement.
Adding RAM might be enough to make your computer run more smoothly when you have multiple programs running, and that addition can be made at a fraction of the cost of buying a new computer.
If an upgrade won't do the trick and you decide to replace your computer, recycle it rather than simply throwing it out with the trash.
* Set your computer to power-saving mode at the end of the day. Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the energy savings when a computer is in "sleep" mode as opposed to being turned off completely are negligible. But professionals should set their computer so it goes into a power-saving mode after a certain period of being idle.
In addition, get rid of screensavers, which require energy and no longer have any positive impact on the life expectancy of your computer monitor.
Going green is something that can be done in both your personal and professional life.