5 Energy-Saving Tips for Office Employees
As the world becomes more environmentally conscious, many businesses are doing their best to increase their energy efficiency and lessen their carbon footprint. However, as individual employees, we also have the power to help cut down on waste, save energy, and become more environmentally friendly in general.
Here are a few simple things any office employee can do to save energy at work and help the environment.
1. Turn Off Lights and Equipment When You Leave
When five o’clock rolls around, it can be difficult to resist the urge to simply grab your keys and run out of the door. But, if you leave before turning off your laptop, monitor, desk fan, lamp, or printer, you’re wasting quite a bit of energy, as electricity continues to needlessly power these items when nobody is around. This behavior can be especially wasteful if you don’t turn off your items before you leave the office for the weekend or an extended vacation. In fact, almost 50% of all work computers are left on when employees aren't using them.
To help yourself remember, try setting up a reminder on your phone or office computer near the end of your shift reminding you to shut down your equipment. Even a simple sticky note with a message to yourself could help save quite a bit of energy.
2. Enable Power Management Settings on Your Computer
When you leave your desk for an extended period of time, such as when you go to lunch or a long meeting, you may not think about turning off your computer or monitors. However, most modern computers have energy-saving settings that will put them in sleep mode or shut them down completely after a certain time limit. This can also help conserve energy if you forget to turn them off before you leave work.
3. Use Energy-Efficient Bulbs
If you have a lamp at your desk or cubicle, get an energy-efficient CFL (compact fluorescent light) or ideally, an LED (light-emitting diode) bulb. This may not seem like it will do much to help the environment, but actually, CFL and LED bulbs use about 65-80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and they can also last up to 25 times longer. Additionally, according to Energy Star, swapping out a single traditional bulb with a CFL or LED replacement can keep about 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere over the bulb’s lifetime. However, it should be noted that CFLs are being phased out, and LEDs are now the preferred energy-efficient bulb.
4. Take the Stairs
In addition to being good for your health, taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work can actually save quite a bit of energy. A typical office elevator uses around 350 watts of electricity to travel between floors, enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for over 3 hours.
5. Work from Home
If your company or manager allows you to work from home from time to time, take advantage of it. By cutting out your commute, you’ll be saving money on gas, saving time, and not creating CO2 on the way to work.
Every Little Bit Helps
Even minor changes to your everyday work life can have a significant positive impact on the environment and make your office more eco-friendly.
If you’d like to learn about more ways to become energy-efficient, or if you’d just like to learn more about energy in general, take a look at the Energy 101 section of our website. It has everything you need to become an informed energy consumer on a variety of topics, including electricity, renewable energy, and solar power.