It’s a simple trick of mind over matter — when you start to mind, being energy conscious will matter.  With businesses putting out their environmental initiatives and an emphasis on companies having a green reputation — being energy efficient begins with the people. It’s the magic of a few do-greeners and then a better, less-consuming office you’ll have!

Here are five tips that will help save you energy right now.

Keep it on screen

With everything being online, paper waste is seldom necessary.  Technology has brought wonderful things like tablets, iPads and notebooks into our business lives and offers the function of sending and receiving documents.  Sign up for e-subscriptions instead of snail mail and get good at Power Point. Just remember: e-mail is your friend!

Check your settings

Make sure your monitor’s screen saver mode is activated and automatically turns on when your computer goes idle and set your system up so it has the option of sleeping in case you’re in an long meeting or step out to lunch. The good news is computers typically don’t suck up too much electricity and, in fact, use less energy than some lights (unless you’re running some crazy video game — in which case, get back to work!)

Pull the plug

When you aren’t using a device, it’s best to not only shut it off — but to unplug it completely.  This goes for the coffee maker, the printer, the computer at the end of the day, speaker systems, etc. A great tip is to invest in power bars and to flick that switch that turns off all the devices connected to it for convenience.  Avoid being a victim of phantom energy — this will result in energy savings.

Boycott the wastebasket

If printing documents is absolutely necessary — then set your printer to the ‘double-sided’ default.  When it comes to the printer itself, consider getting refillable ink cartridges and make sure you’re printing on recycled paper. When office equipment is aging, rather than toss it — donate it to places where they can have a new life. In the employee kitchen, opt for cloths and towels rather than disposable paper towels. Make the trash the very last destination!

Ban the bottle

While many individuals are already fashioning the trendy stainless steel commuter cup — have mugs and glassware available at work for those who don’t have one. Encourage employees to drink out of a pitcher of water in the fridge rather than buying bottles of water.

These are simple steps to make your office more energy efficient immediately. This not only makes you a more socially aware person with an environmentally friendly attitude, it saves you energy costs and makes you a better person (or greener in the very least.)

For those interested in incentives and rebates for their business, we have those.

Image credit: M Moser Associates