Around the Office

Turn Off the Lights

light switch in an officeLighting accounts for up to 29% of an office's energy consumption. By turning off lights when not needed, performing regular maintenance, and installing upgrades, you can save significant energy and lower your electric bill. Replacing older lights with energy-efficient ones can save up to 30% off your lighting cost and up to 5% off your overall energy cost. 

Tune Up Your Heating and Cooling Systems

Heating and cooling can account for as much as 35% of an office building's energy use. Save energy and money by tuning up your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system annually. Even better, service your HVAC before both the heating and the cooling seasons. Systems will decline in performance without regular maintenance. Change (or clean, if reusable) HVAC filters every month during peak cooling or heating seasons. You save energy and money, and your system may last years longer with reasonable yearly maintenance fees.

Upgrade to ENERGY STAR Electronics

Electronics account for approximately 3% of commercial electricity consumption. When you replace electronics, look for the ENERGY STAR label. Thousands of electronic products have earned that label and use less energy, save money, and help protect the environment without sacrificing quality or performance.

Reduce Your Unwanted Mail

Each year junk mail, including unsolicited mail to businesses, ends up as nearly 4 million tons of solid waste. E-mail or call direct-marketing companies to remove your name or those of former employees from their mailing lists—some companies have Web sites that allow for removal. You also can register with a comprehensive junk-mail reduction service for a small fee. Search for "junk mail" online to find some of these services. By taking your name off marketing mailing lists, you can help reduce waste.

Recycle Paper Products

Recycling paper products—including newspapers, paperboard boxes (like cereal and cracker boxes), cardboard boxes, junk mail, and office paper—saves money. That's because recycling paper fiber is cheaper than growing, harvesting, and processing trees. Texans dispose of enough trash every two weeks to fill the Astrodome. Recycling 1 ton of paper saves the equivalent of up to 17 trees and uses 50% less water.