Green Living On a Budget – In the Workplace

How Can I Go Green on a Budget at Work?

There is an illusion that living a green life is expensive – but that’s not the case at all. In our “How Can I Go Green on a Budget?” series, we focus on different areas of your life where you can live more conscious of your environment AND finances. We’ll help you use what you already have so you can reduce your expenditures and impact on the planet.

While you might not have as much control over green living in the workplace as you have at home, there are still things you can do show your love for the environment. Our green workplace tips will help take your planet-loving self into the work place and hopefully inspire your coworkers to take a greener step, too.

1) Pack Your Own Lunch

Green Living On a Budget – In the Workplace
Break free from buying your lunch everyday by bringing it from home!

By taking your own lunch to work, you will inevitably save hundreds of dollars each year.

Consider that the most basic take-out lunch, with a drink included, will run you about $8. If you eat out 4 work days a week, that’s $32. Times that by 4? You can do the simple math. Spending over $100 a month eating out at lunch time adds up to over $1,000 a year. That’s the price of a vacation!

But how does being eco-friendly come into this? When you pack your own lunch into reusable containers, you’re not purchasing disposable boxes and packaging that will just end up in the landfill. Eating out comes with a large price tag in terms of consumer waste. Every little reusable box you employ each day means one less Styrofoam or cardboard box in the trash.

There’s another element that can make your lunches eco-friendly, too. By shopping local and purchasing organic food, your lunches are healthier, you’re supporting local farmers, and you’re supporting a healthier and larger ecosystem. By bringing your own snacks and lunch, you can control the quality of the food you’re eating.

2) Ride the Rails

Green Living On a Budget – In the Workplace
Take public transportation to & from work everyday – all the cool kids are doing it!

Buses are traveling from parking depots into major business districts each morning and every afternoon. While busing it to work might not seem convenient on the surface (as it can often mean getting up a few minutes earlier that your normal time), it really makes a difference on the impact on the Earth.

Not only does it alleviate the wear and tear on your car, it reduces pollution caused by your vehicle. Then there’s the way it helps you out as a whole! Leave the road rage to the bus driver and ease back in your seat while commuting to work “hands free.” Take the time to de-stress your mind, mentally prepare for meetings and your day ahead, or to catch up on your reading while you cruise into work.

3) Bike It to Work

Green Living On a Budget – In the Workplace
Or take your bike! You’re saving the planet AND getting exercise!

If you live within a 10-mile radius of your workplace, why not consider riding your bike to work? It costs you nothing besides the maintenance of your bicycle, and it gives you that extra bit of exercise each day. With cities getting hip to biking commuters, trails are popping up everywhere, providing safe passages to bike.

Bike lanes are also a growing part of the infrastructure of many major Texas cities. Always wear a helmet, bring a bottle of water, and pack a fresh shirt, just in case you arrive on the job site extra sweaty.

4) Buy Earth-Friendly Office Supplies

This isn’t on your dime, but check with the office manager who orders supplies to see if you’re able to order supplies that embrace a greener scope.

From recycled papers to soy inks, there are many ways to put less of a burden on the planet while still making your business look professional. There are also pens on the office supply market made using recycled plastic water bottles. As many manufacturers are hip to being environmentally friendly, raise the question and see if your office will be, too.

5) Think Before You Print

Green Living On a Budget – In the Workplace
You really don’t NEED that printout, do you?

Do you really need to print multiples copies of the same thing? If it’s a matter of proofing an article or contract that isn’t the final product, why not print on the back of already printed pieces of paper. Save a few trees, and think before your print!

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Born in Australia, Ebony has been in Texas long enough to consider herself a Texan-Aussie. Ebony has been writing for magazines, newspapers, and blogs, for more than 10 years. When she's not writing she's building quilts, growing her own food, or camping with her family somewhere far from the sounds of the city.