How To Make Your Workplace Greener – And Why It Helps Your Career


The idea of “going green” is one that has become extremely relevant to today’s day and age.

Leaving your car in the garage and hopping on your bike. Using those trendy notebooks made out of recycled paper. Skipping the bottled water and opting for filtered tap water in your bright yellow Nalgene.

There are also many ways to incorporate these changes into the workplace and more companies are jumping at the chance to make their offices more environmentally friendly and sustainable in every way. We recently asked our Twitter followers, “How can your office become a green office?”

Ahh yes – those three Rs that we’ve all come to know and love. Here are some quick and easy ways to put this familiar trio into play in the office:


  • Set your printer to double-sided and change it from regular printing to the economical printing mode. This automatically gives your paper and ink supply double the life span (and gives your recycling bin double the amount of time to fill up!) Also, do things like hitting print preview first to see if you need to print the final page.
  • Refrain from printing emails unless absolutely necessary. Try compiling important data from various emails into an online document.
  • Shut down computers at the end of the day and turn off power bars when possible.
  • Take the stairs instead of using the elevator (if possible – we don’t want you doing a 10 km uphill hike every morning).

Sidenote: How much energy does an elevator actually use? If you were to walk up and down three flights of stairs instead of taking the elevator, that would save the equivalent of what it takes to power a 37” plasma TV for three hours. So, it’s not that much. However, imagine if you did this every day? Imagine if your entire office did this every day? Now we’re talkin’.


  • Two words: travel mug.
  • Use scrap paper for taking notes and printing rough drafts.


  • Old documents, newspapers, those flyers you always find lying around the lunch room, soup cans, pop bottles, broken down cardboard boxes from last week’s shipment and everything in between. Blue box it up.
  • For things like printer cartridges and old electronics, there are tons of places that accept these and dispose of them properly.
  • If you want to take it even a step further, throw a compost bin in your kitchen for all the food waste.

Going green doesn’t have to mean going out of your way. Try following these simple steps to see how easy it can be to transform your workplace into a green place!

Why it can help your career

Whether you’re “just an intern” or you’re a young professional well on your way to the corner office, starting green projects at your workplace shows leadership and initiative. It tells your boss and co-workers that you’re committed to helping the organization succeed. After all, many green initiatives are also cost-savers and they help make employees feel good about where they work!

Attend the Green Jobs Forum on Sept. 17, 2012 in TorontoIs your dream job a green job? Attend the Green Jobs Forum on Sept. 17, 2012 in Toronto – admission is free! Register now.

To learn more about getting a green job and hatching a career in the green economy, visit TalentEgg’s Green Jobs Career Guide.


Photo credit: My new bonsai tree by gabrielsaldana on Flickr
About the author

Leah Ruehlicke works in video production, living in a tiny apartment in Toronto with bad water pressure and an amazing book collection. Follow her on @LeahRuehlicke.