Harry the Hominid's tips for greening the workplace

  • October 04, 2013

Harry the Hominid, Maropeng's spokeshominid, says its high time we started transforming our offices (and not just our homes) into greener working spaces.

"Greening your office is easy – all it takes is a change in behaviour and putting a few simple practices into place,” he says.

Save electricity

  • Turn your lights off every time you leave your office or work area, even if it's just for 10 minutes

  • Use windows to their maximum capacity. Draw back the curtains and let all that natural light in instead of switching on lights

  • Use energy-saving tools on devices such as computers, printers and photocopiers

  • When it's time to leave for the day, switch off and unplug all machines

  • Try and keep the air conditioners off

Reduce supplies

  • Keep track of how much paper and toner you use

  • Instead of making copies of very large documents, email them or put the document together in a PowerPoint presentation

  • When possible, read documents on the computer rather than printing them out

  • Email phone messages and other messages instead of writing them on paper

  • Don't use fax cover sheets when you don't absolutely need to

  • Create business cards for departments rather than individuals

  • Use scrap paper to create draft documents

  • When printing a document, select the dual-sided and greyscale options


  • Buy recycled paper products. Make sure that machines such as printers or photocopiers can handle high volumes of recycled paper. Also buy re-manufactured toner rather than buying a new one

  • Use recycling bins. Set up a few for paper, tin and cardboard and place them throughout the office

  • Use a reusable mug for your coffee or tea instead of using a paper or plastic cup

Remember to follow Harry on Twitter @harrythehominid for useful greening tips.

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