The Clean Hippie

Seeking the sustainable life in New York City

Being eco-friendly at work January 13, 2010

So, I’m in my second week of work. As I mentioned earlier, Ogilvy is well on its way to greendom. Though there’s some other things to be done. Let’s save that discussion for another time, yes?

Anyway, there’s a few things I’ve done to be a little bit greener, and you can do too!

  • Bring in a plant

Plants are proven to improve your happiness at work, first off. Second, they are pretty. And third, they clean the air. That’s important, because in a new building like this, paints can emit harmful VOCs for up to 6 months! Try these ten plants that clean the air, and be happy and healthy.

  • Have a “I’ll recycle this later” pile on the corner of my desk.

There aren’t recycling bins at every desk. Or even every area. So I put everything in one place to take away at the end of the day. My trashcan is so empty right now.

  • Get a lunch bag, bento boxes, and reusable silverware.

The cafeteria here is pretty nice as far as cafeterias go. But at the end of every lunch, all 15oo or so employees dump their lunch leftovers, takeout boxes, and silverware in the waste containers. Plastic cups go in the bottle/can containers. It’s a start I guess.

Last night I hit up Whole Foods and bought  insulated lunch bag. And it’s already gotten two compliments! It’s the model you see above. Cute, right? I have matching Bento boxes that come in every size you could need, and a set of bamboo silverware. I also bought some food from the Whole Foods salad bar, and saved half for lunch today. That brings me to my next tip…

  • Bring your own food

As good as the cafeteria food is, and as much as I enjoy the salad bar, I don’t think it’s organic. It’s definitely not local. Sadly, I haven’t made it to the farmers market since I got back to the city. But I do have all the ingredients for an organic 3-cheese polenta, which I will make tonight. The leftovers are going in the Bento Boxes. My cubemates will be jeaalooouuus.

  • Get your own mug

It’s so much more luxurious to drink out of a pretty mug than a paper one, don’t you think? I haven’t gotten one yet, but I plan to stop by an antique store tonight and look for one.

  • Bring your own water bottle.

I mean, duh.

  • Rummage for supplies.

You could go to the assistant and say “Oh would you please order me some new supplies?” Or you could ask around to your neighbors. Chances are they have some extra stuff sitting in their drawers they never use anyway. I currently have a stapler/staple remover set, four folders, and four boxes of pens that I inherited from the last desk owner.

  • Print doublesided
  • Unplug your computer before you leave at night.

I’m pretty new to this office stuff. I think I’ll wait some time to get settled/entrenched in the office before I start making waves and requests for new recycling bins. But I would still like to know:

What else can I do to go green here?