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Tips for kicking carbon in your workplace

There are many ways you can help kick the carbon in your office environment, something which'll not only help out the environment but also save your business money! Give the following suggestions a go and do your bit for the planet.

Cooling and heating systems like air conditioning produce large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions and use a lot of energy. Alter the temperature in your office based on the season and climate. Avoid making it too cold in summer or too hot in winter, and be sure to dress appropriately according to the season.

Investigate energy saving lighting options. Products such as compact fluorescent bulbs have a longer life and are more cost effective, leading to a lessened environmental impact. And be sure to make sure that lights are switched off in meeting rooms when not in use.

Encourage staff to ensure that computer equipment and lights are switched off - last person out turns the lights off!

GREEN FACT! There are 168 hours in a week yet most offices are only used for 50 to 60 of those hours. In the 118 hours that the office isn't occupied anything unnecessarily left on consumes more than twice the energy it does during occupied hours.

Think before you print, and print double-sided wherever possible. If you can't print double-sided, consider printing two sheets to a page.

Talk to your waste contractor about recycling facilities for paper and cardboard - you can implement a commingled service which allows other materials such as plastic and metal in the same bin.

GREEN FACT! Recycling paper not only reduces the amount of waste to landfill, it also contributes to sustainable resource usage. For each tonne of paper that is recycled, almost 13 trees, 2.5 barrels of oil, 4100 kWh of electricity, 4 cubic metres of landfill and 31,780 litres of water are saved.

Provide recycling within easy access of staff. This may be in the form of small bins that can be emptied into a larger wheelie bin for recycling. Minimise the number of bins used for rubbish that can't be recycled. If staff have to walk further to throw something out they are more likely to consider recycling.

Encourage the use of reusable containers - for example, encourage staff to get their coffee in the same mug every day.

Only run the office kitchen's dishwasher when it is full to make the best use of water, energy and detergent. Cut down on the amount of rinsing you do before loading the dishwasher - most modern dishwashers do an excellent job of cleaning dishes by themselves.

Make sure you turn taps off completely. If a tap or other plumbing is leaking, report it! Use a zip or water heater that is water and energy efficient, and if you have extra drinking water after a meeting, use it to water a plant.

Be prudent when heating your office or workspace; every degree above 22 degrees will add 10 per cent to the heating bill.

Use the natural air ventilation for cooling instead of using the air conditioner.

Turn off office equipment at its source when it's not being used. Install timers to shut off non-essential equipment after hours. Another amazing fact: a computer and monitor left on for a year has the same environmental impacts as travelling by car from Sydney to Perth.

Source - Sustainability Victoria

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