10 Ideas for Saving Money & Energy at the Office

Want to save money in your small business? Start saving energy! Saving money and energy is easy—really! Here's how you can get started making small changes that result in big savings for your small business.

1. Power off the computer at night

Powering off your computer at night or when you leave for the day is one of the easiest things you can do to save energy and money at the office. If you have a power strip, don't forget to turn that off too. Many people are unware how much energy a computer consumes when it's turned on, not to mention the extra heat it generates.

2. Recycle computer equipment and ink cartridges

Many companies offer discounts to customers who recycle their printers, monitors, and other computer equipment. Ask your office supply store about their recycling programs—they often offer rewards and discounts off of future purchases for bringing used ink cartridges into the store for recycling. Even better than recycling is using less—for everyday printing, set your printer to a lower print quality setting, and reserve your high-quality settings for documents you are planning to archive or share with customers.

3. Turn out the lights

How many times have you walked past the conference room or lunchroom and seen the lights blazing and no one in there? Take a second to turn off the lights and remind your employees to do the same. And don't forget to turn off the lights in your own office when you leave for the day. Don't waste your money paying for electricity you're not using.

4. Choose green office supplies

There's a lot more to green office supplies than recycled paper these days. Major suppliers like Staples and Office Depot have entire sections of their catalogs devoted to green products. Check them out!

5. Switch to laptops

Laptops aren't just more mobile than desktop computers, they're also more energy efficient. And less power equals less money spent on electric bills. If you're wedded to the idea of using desktop computers, consider switching to newer models that are more energy efficient than older ones.


6. Buy Energy Star equipment

When you're in the market for new office equipment, look for the Energy Star logo. Energy Star, a joint program between the US Department of Energy and the USEPA, rates products according to their energy efficiency. An Energy Star-rated scanner, for example, is about 50% more efficient than a non-Energy Star-rated scanner.

7. Recycle paper

Another no-brainer when it comes to saving energy and money at the office is recycling paper. But there's more to it than tossing paper in a recycling bin. Don't forget to use both sides of every sheet of paper and recycle used envelopes for scrap paper or to-do lists. If your company doesn't have a recycling program, start one.

8. Make the switch to CFLs

By making the switch from traditional incandescent light bulbs to energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) bulbs you can save as much as 75% of your energy costs (especially if they're Energy Star qualified). They also last up to 10 times as long. Now that's money you can take to the bank!

9. Move your desk or work space next to the window

If you have an office with a window, take advantage of this and move your desk or work space next to it. Even if you don't have a window, you might be able to take advantage of indirect light depending on the sun angle and time of day. Natural light is better than artificial light for your emotional well-being and saves energy, both of which save money in the long run.

10. Telecommute or commute by train, bike, carpool, or on foot

If you already telecommute, then good for you! If telecommuting is not an option, then consider biking, walking, taking the train, or carpooling. Offer incentives to employees who carpool or take public transportation, especially if you pay for employee parking.

All you have to do is get started.

Small changes can have a big impact. Most of these tips are easy to implement and can make a big difference in your business bottom line. Find more energy- and money-saving tips for your business at http://earth911.org/.