Is your Office as Green as it could be?

While many property managers have consciously made changes in their daily habits to save energy and reduce their carbon footprint, are you doing as much as you can to make your office a little greener?

If you feel like you’d like to make a greater environmental impact, here are some suggestions to try in your office:

  • Regulate the temperature. By keeping the thermostat a little lower in the winter or a little higher in the summer, you can save energy and money. Rather than using space heaters in the winter, which consume a great deal of electricity, simply keep a sweater handy. You may also want to close the vents in offices that aren’t being used – forcing the heat and air conditioning into the offices that are occupied.
  • Make use of window coverings. For those in a cooler climate, leaving the blinds open can help heat the office naturally, reducing the amount of heat needed. For those in warmer climates, keeping the blinds closed, particularly in the afternoon, will help keep offices cooler.
  • Turn fluorescent lights off if you leave the room for more than a minute. For areas such as the lunchroom, copier room, and meeting room, consider installing motion sensors that will turn on when someone enters the room, and turn off once motion is no longer detected in the area. The cost of the sensors is minimal, but can produce significant energy savings.
  • Get serious about recycling. Most of us recycle cans, but make sure and recycle paper products as well. I know one office that keeps old reports and other printed materials next to the copier. That paper is then used for printing personal print jobs or for jobs that others will not see.
  • Handle garbage more efficiently. Keep a main receptacle in the break room or kitchen for food trash, and reuse trash can liners, reducing waste.
  • Consider using document management software to keep a handle on the extraordinary amount of paper created in the typical property management office. Using document management software will also help to eliminate lost documents, and eliminate time-consuming filing.
  • Use as many recycled products as possible – including copy paper, paper towels, and toilet tissue.
  • Consider using hand dryers instead of paper towels in the bathroom. It’s more hygienic, and will reduce paper use considerably.
  • Make sure that items such as copiers are turned off before leaving.

By committing to do only a few of these things, you can save on both energy consumption and utility bills.

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