What are 10 easy things I can do at work?

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You can easily make our work day more sustainable. Imagine if everyone at work did these. When you're ready for even bigger results, check out the page called "More at Work."

1. Start the day by brewing coffee at home.

Compared to buying coffee on the way to work, brewing it at home and using a to-go mug can save time and money while eliminating waste and extra travel. Imagine all of the disposable coffee cups and lids you won't be throwing away if you brew at home more often.

Benefits: reduce waste, fewer miles driven

2. Pack a zero waste lunch.

Try packing lunches with reusable containers, recyclable cans, or reusable bottles. If there is any leftover food waste, can you compost it at home or at work?

Benefit: reduce waste

3. Walk, bike, bus, or carpool to work.

Compared to driving alone, these options can save money and lower your carbon footprint. You might also experience other benefits like exercise, meeting new people, or getting a little rest as a passenger.

Benefit: reduce carbon footprint

More information: gochapelhill.org

4. Do you need to print?

Try asking yourself this question every time you think about using the printer. And if you decide that printing is best, go with double-sided. This doubles your paper savings!

Benefit: reduce waste and resource consumption

5. Use a paper clip instead of a staple.

It may sound small, but a clip is reusable and reduces waste in the long run.

Benefit: reduce waste and resource consumption

6. Report leaky faucets or running toilets.

Reporting a leak might save hundreds of gallons of drinking water and avoid an unusually high water bill. Has your employer signed up for Agua Vista to track water usage, save water and save money?

Benefit: save water

More information: OWASA's Agua Vista

7. Turn off all electronic equipment when you leave for the day.

Electronic equipment can include your computer, computer monitors and lights. If you aren't permitted to turn something off, see if there's a sleep mode.

Benefit: save energy

8. Switch to energy saver mode on your electronic devices.

If you can do so without sacrificing performance, try putting your computer and other devices in energy or battery saving mode. For a smart phone or tablet with an OLED screen, you can also try switching to a "dark mode" setting. This can reduce your carbon footprint and extend the life of your battery.

Benefit: save energy

9. Have a zero emissions commute.

Working from home puts fewer miles on the car, saves on gas and maintenance, and reduces carbon emissions. If you're not sure whether telework is for you⁠—or just need help convincing your boss⁠—check out GoTriangle's guide to telework.

Benefit: reduce carbon footprint

10. Turn the K-cup coffee maker into a zero plastic waste machine.

If your office has a K-cup coffee maker, transform this single-serve appliance into a multi-cup machine with zero plastic waste! How? Purchase the reusable coffee cup filters and add your own grounds. Need a mug? Just leave one at work.

If you have a drip coffee maker, see if you can find a reusable filter. This will eliminate the waste and expense of paper filters.

Benefit: reduce waste