Not all of us can control our work environment. However, there are some things that we can do at the office to help our organization be more eco-friendly. This blog entry focuses on some easy steps you can take to help green the meetings you are leading or participating in (and, as I’m sure you know, most organizations love meetings, so take note!):
- Send the materials to attendees prior to the meeting via email; let them know you’ll be going through an electronic version during the meeting — they can print out a copy for themselves if they want to.
- If copies need to be made, make them double-sided and use 100% processed chlorine free (PCF) and 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) recycled paper — you can find recycled paper at any large store, including Staples and Office Depot, so no excuses! Oh yes, and for presentations, it’s ok to have two to three slides on one page.
- For those who are lazy, make sure paper and beverage recycling bins are easily accessible so there is no excuse that they didn’t know where the recycling bins were (I’ve heard it even from employees not just visitors to the buildings!)
- Use a projector during the meeting to present materials instead of handing out copies; this will also provide you with the flexibility to make changes on the spot if needed.
- Message boards can be used instead of flip charts to note information or, better yet, ask someone to take notes on their laptop.
- Take advantage of natural lighting in the room instead of turning on the lights, and turn off lights & equipment when the meeting ends!
- Finally, collect agendas and any unused paper and use it for scrap paper or for the fax machine.
And since you might be serving coffee at some of these meetings to make sure everyone stays awake, choose Fair Trade brands!