Weekly Trust

50 SMART WAYS TO REDUCE OFFICE WASTE & COST (II)

In our last edition, we started this almost controversial and comical write-up. In this edition, we hope to wrap it up. The intention for writing on this is because we need to understand where the world is going and we shouldn’t be left behind. The world is going green and companies and businesses are working to reduce waste. Why should we in this part of the world continue to promote waste, endanger our environment and increase our cost of running our businesses? Let’s quickly go over the rest of the 50 smart ways to reduce our office waste, while saving some cost for our organisation.

Equipment

Manufacturing office equipment contributes greatly to reducing air quality and landfill waste. Consider these tips when you’re purchasing equipment for your business.

22.    Buy good used furniture: When appointing your office, buy used furniture. You can also check out remanufactured cubicles for both cost and environmental savings. There are locations in Lagos, for instance, where used furniture items are sold.

23.    Buy large storage devices for a cost that is a little over small sizes: Take for instance, I just bought a 32 gigabite memory card for N6,000 when a 4 gigabite memory card sells for N1,200 and 8 gigabite memory card sells for N4,000. Can you see how much I am saving.

24.    Buy used copiers and faxes: Manufacturing equipment like copiers and faxes creates lots of waste. Buy used equipment to eliminate waste, but make sure that they are still efficient.

25.    Unplug equipment when not in use: Encourage employees to shut down and unplug copiers, printers and other equipment when they leave the office every evening.

26.    Be trendy in your business: Always go for new products especially if you can afford them because they are always an improved version of the old ones, are largely energy efficient and they can perform more tasks that can save you more money in your office.

27.    Buy high-quality equipment: When buying equipment, be sure to purchase something that will last and not become obsolete quickly. That way, you’ll avoid having to buy new equipment and contributing to manufacturing waste.

Electricity

Small changes in air conditioning, lighting, and fixtures can make a huge difference in your energy consumption. Follow these guidelines to save the environment and save on your electricity bill.

28.    Change your electricity to PHCN metre card:  The new PHCN metre reader with card facility is a good buy for entrepreneurs and will save on your energy consumption. You only pay for what you consume. It is pay as you consume. Not the other one where every month, they bring a bill whether you are out of the country or not.

29.    Switch to compact fluorescent bulbs: As your current light bulbs burn out, replace them with compact fluorescent bulbs. They are more efficient and last much longer than traditional bulbs.

30.    Look at sourcing your electricity from alternative sources: Nigerian businesses must begin to look at generating power through other sources like solar energy, wind or other alternative energy sources. Consider using other sources of electricity or power generation.

31.    Never use electricity during weekends expect otherwise: If you know your employees aren’t going to be in the office during the weekend, create a setting that conserves more energy during those hours. But be sure to allow an override function so that it can be changed if someone decides to come in to work.

32.    Turn off lights when not in use: Ask employees to turn off lights when they leave. Invest in automatic switches in places like the bathroom and supply areas so that they turn on and off whenever someone enters or leaves the room.

33.    Take advantage of natural lighting: Install windows and skylights so that you can use natural daytime light instead of electrical lighting.

34.    Buy Energy Star fixtures: When buying fixtures, look for the Energy Star label to save at least two-thirds less energy than regular ones.

35.    Unplug vending machines: When your office goes on vacation or leaves for the weekend, unplug vending or water cooling machines.

Computers

Like other appliances, computers can be major energy hogs. Adjust screen savers, energy plans and quality to streamline your company’s computer efficiency.

36.    Unplug computers when not in use: Encourage employees to shut down and unplug their computers when they leave the office for the day.

37.    Buy for quality: When shopping for computers, buy units that will last and avoid becoming obsolete too quickly. This way, you’ll avoid contributing to e-waste.

38.    Buy for energy savings: When shopping, be sure to ask if your computers, monitors and printers are energy efficient.

39.    Give your computer a nap: Ask your IT department to set your computers to go to sleep when not in use. Creating short energy breaks can cut energy use by up to 70 percent.

40.    Banish screen savers: Make sure that employees know screen savers won’t save energy. They eat up lighting and processing energy. Instead, set screen savers to “none” or “blank screen.”

41.    Buy smaller monitors: You can reduce your monitor’s consumption by up to 30% by using a 2 inch smaller monitor.

42.    Consider laptops: Consider buying laptops instead of desktops, as they generally use less energy and are more efficiently made.

Miscellaneous

Every little thing adds up when it comes to office waste. Check out these tips for even more ways to reduce your consumption at work.

43.    Use simple cleaning supplies: Discuss cleaning supplies with your maintenance crew. Ask them to consider using cleaners like baking soda or vinegar instead of commercial products.

44.    Do the dishes: Provide reusable dishes, silverware and glasses for luncheons.

45.    Provide filtered water: Instead of bottled water, provide employees with filtered drinking water and reusable cups.

46.    Install low-flow faucets and toilets: Help conserve water by installing low-flow faucets and toilets in restrooms and other common areas. This will also help conserve electricity by reducing your water heater’s output.

47.    Buy local, organic coffee and tea: If you provide coffee or tea service to employees, be sure that it’s local and organic to reduce your environmental impact.

48.    Consider office sharing: If you have a number of employees that don’t use the office regularly, consider assigning offices based on a schedule. You’ll save on utilities, equipment, furniture and more.

49.    Plant a tree for gifts: In place of sending a holiday gift to clients, plant a tree in their name.

50.    Buy sugar and cream dispensers: Avoid paper packets and save waste by offering employees sugar and cream in large dispensers.

Hope this list doesn’t look eccentric to you? OK, even if it does, just pick the ones that make sense to you and leave out the rest. All we are trying to do here is to prime you to see how we can rescue the environment from waste and even help you reduce the operational costs in your business.


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