In just three days, it is Earth Hour again! And you are probably thinking, “Oh no, another preachy go-green-save-the-Earth” post from technology nuts who probably have the whole office wired up. You are probably right about the “whole office wired up” part. But this post is not about going entirely Captain Planet. CA Technologies, a company which offers IT management solutions, has put together 10 hot tips on how we can all go green while in the office.

And we are not talking about the green-eyed monster.

  1. The main power point is the culprit. Do you know that electronic appliances plugged in still consume power even when they are not in use? That’s right. Switch off electricity at the main power point to go green! Better yet, unplug!
  2. Double-sided, recycle and if possible, go paperless. According to CA Technologies, Asia’s paper consumption is close to half of the world’s usage – at a whopping 44 percent. But before all the trees in the world disappear because of our love (or the lack thereof) for paper and words, try eco-friendly fonts like Century Gothic and Times New Roman instead of Arial. They also say “good things come in small packages” so try a smaller size if it is just for your own reference.
  3. Recycle, not throw, those cans. Compared to manufacturing a new aluminium can, when you recycle an aluminium can, you are actually saving energy enough to power a television for three good hours. Think about that the next time you choose the dustbin over the recycling bin.
  4. 25 is cool enough. Apparently, air-conditioning accounts for 60 percent of electricity bills of buildings in Singapore. We know it is warm outside but every degree lower will add about 10 percent to the running costs with a higher consumption of power. Set your A/C to a comfortable level — 25 degrees Celsius is probably good enough.
  5. Bring Your Own … Cutlery! Each year, about 3.8 million trees are chopped to produce about 57 billion disposable pairs of chopsticks. Bring your own reusable crockery and cutlery from home. Try to eat out instead of taking lunch, or alternatively, you can opt to pack the food in your own containers.
  6. Drive greener by taking the public transport. Yes, we hear you. You need to drive to work. How about this? Try carpooling instead! Do you know that a person living in Asia Pacific produces an average of four metric tons of carbon dioxide emission every year? One good example of a carpooling or route-sharing app would be Tripid in the Philippines.
  7. Let’s ink it by recycling those cartridges. Three litres of oil and one kilogram of metal and plastic. That is what you need to produce a new toner cartridge. But if you simply recycle those used cartridges, you can save about half of the oil and keep a kilogram of metal and plastic out of the landfill. And guess what? That takes about 1,000 years to decompose.
  8. Light up your day with energy saving bulbs. Well, they are called energy saving for a reason. 10 times – that is how much longer LED bulbs last when compared to compact fluorescent and traditional incandescent bulbs. With LED bulbs, they use most of the energy drawn to generate light and very little would be wasted as heat.
  9. Pen it down with refillable ink. You still use pens? Then choose those with refillable ink or ones made of biodegradable plastics. Why? Well, over 10 billion pens are thrown out worldwide each year. If you are still throwing out your pens every year because they cost less than a dollar, then consider refillable ones.
  10. Don’t sit back and relax. Speak up. Saving the Earth takes initiative. It means changing how most people in your office usually do things. If you see someone throwing away cans instead of recycling them or leaving the air-conditioning on when everyone goes out for lunch, either tell them nicely how it should be done or show a good example. Lobby for eco-friendly cleaning solutions by creating events like “bring your own crockery” or  “no air-conditioning allowed” day.

Earth Hour is on 23 March, 2013, 8.30pm.

Image Credit: GWS Media