Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  13 Jan 2011

ENVIRONMENT: Thinking Green at Work


Recent Gauteng Business News

Many homeowners are already implementing green measures to help protect the environment and, says Berry Everitt, CEO of the Chas Everitt International property group, it’s relatively simple to expand that concern to the workplace.

Writing in the Property Signposts newsletter, he makes the following suggestions for going green at work:

* Save paper. For every ton of paper recycled, the eco-savings are 26 000L of water, 1400L of oil and enough electricity to power a house for six months. So start by printing smarter, using both sides of the paper and the reverse sides of old documents for drafts. Store emails and documents you’ll need again on disc rather than in paper files. And ask to be removed from the mailing list of anyone sending you unwanted newsletters, magazines or catalogs.

* Start recycling. Paper, glass and plastics, even printer and copier cartridges, can be recycled at work just as easily as at home, so get some separate waste containers and encourage your colleagues to use them. Better still, empower an entrepreneur by getting someone to come and clear your bins of material they can sell to a recycling plant.

* Save electricity. Make as much use of natural lighting as possible and turn off the lights in any room you are leaving for 15 minutes or more. Unplug electronics and appliances when you are not using them rather than leaving them on standby. And choose products that help conserve energy, such as longer-life, eco-friendly light bulbs and energy efficient computers, printers and copiers.

* Don’t just dump your e-waste. Electronic waste such as old cellphones, fax machines, laptops, computers, monitors, printers and copiers often contain toxic substances such as lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium and beryllium that really should not end up in landfills. So if your old equipment is still functioning, clean it up and donate it to a charitable organization or school that can use it, or to a to a charity shop that can sell it to raise money for a good cause. If the equipment is broken, it should go to a specialist electronics recycler such as New Earth Waste Solutions (see

* Live the green dream. Find personal ways to show your commitment, like bringing your own lunch to work in a reusable container instead of getting takeaways. Or keep a jersey at the office so you won’t have to turn up the heat and use extra electricity on colder days. Every little bit helps.

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