Green office ideas & $10 OfficeMax card giveaway

Read on for the chance to win one of two $10 off a $10 purchase at OfficeMax cards!

For the new year, many of us probably established a green resolution at home. Did you take that resolve to work?

Most offices and schools have a long way to go to improve their environmental awareness. The basics might be in place — recycling and using lower-energy lights and heating/cooling options — or they might not.

Individuals can make a difference by using a glass or reusable water bottle instead of disposables, minimizing lunch time waste and choosing responsible transportation options.

Here are a few more ways to help:

Although bright and neon papers are eye-catching, these papers are no longer accepted for recycling by most paper mills. The dyes in bright papers are made with toxic heavy metals (cadmium, arsenic, and others), making these papers much more resource intensive and costly to recycle. The toxic dyes contaminate the environment by leaching into watersources. (Source: University of Colorado)

  • If your school’s kids drink a lot of Capri Sun or Kool-Aid beverages in juice pouches, sign up for the TerraCycle Drink Pouch Brigade. They will upcycle pouches into another product rather than throwing them away.  (It would be best to go reusable … but kudos to them for doing something.)
  • Buy recycled office products where you can. At OfficeMax I recently found some of these products, also from TerraCycle. They also now carry eco-packing material to stuff envelopes (although they did not have paper shipping tape).

Want an OfficeMax card?

Leave a comment stating something you have done or want to do to green your office or school. Be sure to leave an e-mail address with your comment. I’ll randomly choose two winners and contact you to mail you the gift card for $10 off a $10 purchase — cards expire Feb. 21, 2009.

This giveaway ends on Feb. 2.

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13 thoughts on “Green office ideas & $10 OfficeMax card giveaway

  1. George says:

    Hey, thanks for mentioning TerraCycle! I’d like to add that anybody can sign up for several other brigades even if they don’t drink juice pouches – energy bar, cookie wrapper, granola bag, and even wine cork!

    Also, the crossover between frugal and green is great! The slower economy will drive folks to be more thoughtful about where their dollar goes!

    Cheers,
    George

  2. Christine says:

    I’d love to win a $10 gift card. At work, I instated a policy to reuse paper for printing. If it already has printing on one side, it goes into the box next to the printer, and that paper automatically goes into the printer tray. If it has printing on both sides already, it comes home with me to go into my recycling bin. Luckily, my office is so small (just three of us!) that I can manage taking home extra recycling.

    I also started using that eco font as my default font in Microsoft word so when I print, it uses less ink.

    I’d like to talk to the building manager about signing up for a recycling bin for soda bottles and cans and the like. In the meantime, I don’t mind picking these recyclables out of the trash and taking them home with me.

  3. Chile says:

    Here are some things I’ve done in our CSA office to reduce our impact:

    1. Count excess newsletters leftover each week so we can determine optimum number to print so that everyone who wants one gets one without hardly any extras left to recycle.

    2. Encourage members to read newsletter online instead of a printed copy.

    3. Instead of recycling above excess newsletters, shred them and give them away to members for their compost bins.

    4. Take home all flyers leftover that have blank backs and use them for printing at home.

    5. Most printing in home office done using “draft” setting which uses less ink.

    6. Use junk mail I can’t get stopped for shopping lists. (There’s always a little section without printing.)

  4. Harper says:

    Keep re-usable supplies at my desk for lunch, etc — mug, glass, bowls, cloth napkin, utensils.

    Use loose tea rather than tea bags or bottled tea – and have started other co-workers on this.

    Recycle all paper that doesn’t need to be shredded for security [I have a co-worker who recycles the shredded paper].

    Use electronic documents and email whenever possible. Print as little as I can.

    More telephone conferences rather than face-to-face meetings – no driving!

    Have convinced co-workers to wear a sweater and turn down our thermostat a few degrees.

  5. erin says:

    I just heard about the ecofont on Monday so it is cool to see it here, too. Have you tried it? I think it is a really cool idea. We put signs up encouraging people to use their own coffee mugs / cups at work. We also offer electronics, battery, ink jet cartridge recycling at work. Cheers!

  6. Carla Pullum says:

    For my daughter’s school I send them a DVD to school to learn about being green. The teacher loved it and it educated the kids!
    Carla
    cpullum(at)yahoo(dot)com

  7. L'an says:

    The eco-font thing sounds super cool; I will have to share this with my colleagues! That said, I couldn’t figure out how to access the font via the article you linked; I found another way to it here:

    http://www.ecofont.eu/ecofont_en.html

    Please don’t enter me for the coupons (although thank you!) cuz I’ve got a couple to use already…

  8. Lisa says:

    My husband is a teacher and he got his kids a recycled basketball, buys then organic and eco-friendly gifts, brings home things for me to recycle, cleans his room with natural cleaners, etc..

  9. ann_was_here says:

    i love love love those $10 off $10 office max cards! one way i green my home office is to have natural light so i can keep the lights off most of the time, another thing i do is cut down on waste-i buy the minimal amount of things possible. i also use the back side of papers i’d otherwise throw away & once i’m done with those i recycle them.

  10. Monice says:

    I got our office to start using eco-friendly cleaning supplies in the kitchen and bathrooms and to start recycling Tetra-paks. More to come! Thanks for entering me in the drawing.

  11. Rebecca Rodgers says:

    I went green a year ago and haven’t looked back.
    Part of my greening of the workplace was to stop doing door to door fliers. Do I really need to waste gas just to leave trash on other people’s door? Yeah, I didn’t think so either.
    No gift card here either thanks-I don’t use office products. 🙂

    100% switch to green cleaning products from known trusted eco-friendly companies. (method/dr bronners rocks my socks!)
    Cut out all paper towel or other ‘disposable’ type cleaning products.
    Switched to a bag less vacuum.

    I also set territory boundaries. Living in an area composed of 7 main cities and a few outlying areas, girlie had to decide how far is too far.

    No regrets here!

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