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HannahWhittenly posted a blog entry in HannahWhittenly's BlogWhen people think about environmentally friendly living, they normally think about their own homes. You might consider how to reduce electrical usage by watching less TV and using lamps, recycle more of your used containers, and reuse all sorts of items to cut down on waste. However, all of these ideas and more can be carried over to the office to create a clean, healthy, and sustainable workplace. Unplug Keeping unused appliances plugged in can drain a huge amount of electricity every day. Employees should be sure to unplug the small things they can, such as toasters and coffee makers, in break rooms and should place computer and printers on electrical strips to enable quick electrical shut off at the end of the day. Reduce Paper Usage Most workplaces go through mountains of paper every week. To decrease this, employees should be instructed to reread and rewrite papers before printing them and to eliminate excessive printing. Many offices can also go completely digital with records kept in virtual clouds. Bring in Fresh Plants Offices that want to take going green quite literally can bring in live plants to set in sunny locations. These plants not only brighten up the atmosphere, but also create cleaner, healthier air without the use of an electrical air purifier. Brown Bag It Instead of using vending machines, employees can be encouraged to bring brown bagged lunches from home using reusable glass containers. You can create a welcoming space with plenty of chairs and tables for socializing and lunch in the break room. This also helps the environment by reducing vehicle emissions from cars being used on lunch breaks. Keep It Clean Every office has to be kept clean and sanitary, but even this can be done in an eco-friendly way. While environmentally friendly cleaning products were quite scarce a few years ago, they can now be found in nearly any big box store. Some examples include Mrs. Meyer’s and Seventh Generation brands. Make It Easy Almost anyone can be convinced to recycle cans, glass, and plastic if it is made easy. Offices should install recycling bins in all break rooms and cans for paper waste near each desk. Even offices going through remodels can search for a building repair company that recycles building materials. Companies like Sullivan Engineering can even be consulted with to explain the beneficial reasons for green roofing and come up with a plan to make your entire building more sustainable. Every person can make at least a small contribution to greener living both at home and at the office. From reducing electrical usage and making use of natural light to coming up with new ways to inspire coworkers to recycle, any size office can have an impact on the health of the earth. It is up to each person to keep the world clean and healthy for future generations.