Green New Year's Resolutions: For the Office

Ways to green up your commute and cube in the New Year.


As we spend the next few days thinking of ways to better ourselves in 2009, here are a few green resolutions to add to your list. Many of them will help you with your financial resolutions, as well, since going green can often save you money. Add your own resolutions in the comments below.

(More green resolutions: For the home, your food, fashion, transportation)

  • Don't print that document out unless you really have to. And if you do, use recycled paper. And when you're done with it, recycle it. Of course.
  • Bike to work. You can even get tax credits for it. You can also save money that would go towards gas, car maintenance, and a gym membership. People who bike to work are often healthier than their gas-guzzling counterparts.
  • More: Bailout Gives Tax Credits to Bike Commuters

    • If you can't bike, try public transportation. You might find that the work you can get done via blackberry or laptop on the train, or even just the magazine you can read on the bus, are a favorable alternative to sitting behind the wheel.
    • Spring for fair-trade or organic coffee and tea.
    • Use your own mug, instead of styrofoam cups and disposable to-go containers (or get a clever disposable-looking resuable cup). It only takes a few minutes to wash each day, but you're preventing plastic and paper from ending up in a landfill.
    • More: 10 Ways to Go Green and Save Cash - No Excuses

      • Use the stairs instead of the elevator. It's a small morning wake-up that will keep you fit, and reduce your carbon footprint.
      • If you're replacing a computer, get a laptop instead of a desktop - they're much more energy efficient.
      • If you live in a warm climate, see if your office can adopt a business casual dress code, at least for a day or two a week. When people aren't wearing stuffy wool suits or stockings, an office doesn't need to be quite as air conditioned to make everyone comfortable.
      • If you have any say in your office's lighting, try to get your bulbs replaced with LEDs. Many commercial LEDs, like this collection from Cree may look like spaceships, but they'll fit in your regular recessed socket. They're brighter, longer-lasting, and conserve more energy than your typical office bulbs.
      • Finally, don't forget to turn off the lights when you leave for the day.
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