Here are simple things you can do at work to reduce your contribution to global warming:

  1. Get large LCD monitors.

    Avoid printing things. I suspect most people print things more out of habit than necessity.

    Good quality large LCD monitors are available now at great prices. Consider upgrading all your monitors to 19" or larger LCDs. That way, you can read emails, documents, and web pages comfortably on-screen. Pivotable displays are even better - they are LCDs you can turn 90°, and on a 19" or larger screen you are effectively seeing a whole A4 page at actual size.

    LCD monitors also use less power than CRT monitors.

    If you are still using a CRT monitor, make sure you set the Screen Refresh Rate to 75Hz or greater. Many people still have their monitors set to 60Hz (the default). At this refresh rate, the screen flickering will lead to fatigue and headaches. In Windows, go to Start/Settings/Control Panel/Display/Settings tab/Advanced button/Monitor tab. If you are already using LCD monitors, ignore this paragraph. LCD uses a different way to display images on-screen and the refresh rate in the context of CRTs is irrelevant.

  2. Use on-screen review and commenting tools.

    Microsoft Word has review and commenting tools that are good for on-screen use. If you have not done so yet, it’s time to start using these functions you have already paid for.

    The latest version of Adobe Acrobat also offers good on-screen commenting and mark-up tools. Reviewing documents on screen also means you can easily find your comments later using the search function.

    Another added benefit is you can easily consolidate multiple reviewers comments in one place. So no one’s comments will get lost.

  3. Switch to laptops.

    When you next upgrade your hardware, consider buying laptops instead of desktops. Laptops use much less power. And because they come with batteries, they are relatively immune to power outages.

    Laptops are also great because they are smaller in size - thus requiring less material to make and package, not to mention less weight to ship around and bulk to store.

  4. Wear comfortable clothes.

    If you don't need to dress up at work (let's face it, who actually needs to dress up in order to do their work properly), don't. Wearing comfortable clothes and dressing to suit the climate means you can cut back on air conditioning. And no doubt increase productivity also.

  5. Work from home.

    And since your people now have laptops, why not let them work from home? This saves huge amounts of travel time and transport resources.

    Cutting back on unnecessary office space will also help.

  6. Get a scanner.

    With a scanner, you can scan and file documents electronically. This can make it much faster to find and retrieve documents. You can replace whole filing cabinets with a small hard disk.

    It may be more palatable simply to start filing electronically right now and not think too much about going back and scanning all those old files!

    Of course, you need a good backup and archiving process in place.

  7. Sign up for electronic bank statements.

    Most banks now offer the option of sending you electronic instead of paper statements. This saves both paper and the transport costs. Just imagine how much jet fuel is currently spent shipping paper statements around! Insurance and superannuation companies are also offering similar options.

    Naturally, do as much of your banking and superannuation transactions online where possible.

  8. Turn everything off.

    Lights, printers, monitors, shredders, photocopiers. Even when these items are on Stand By mode, they use power. It will save you money.

    While you are at it, you may even want to consider reducing the amount of overhead lighting. I find the overhead lighting in most offices are too bright, especially when working with a computer screen. Simply removing one fluorescent rube out of each light fitting (or each alternate light fitting) will reduce your power consumption. And make the environment less harsh.

Here are the ten more things you can do. Thanks to Helen for this.