How to Stay Green at the Office: Earth Day Checklist [PDF]

Can you believe it is already Earth Day? Seems as if not too long ago we put together our Earth Day infographic covering Canadian green facts. We all try to be a little extra green this time of the year; but keeping track of everything you’ve done (or missed) can be tricky.

This is exactly why we put together a PDF checklist (you can check items off digitally  directly in the PDF if you prefer not to print) full of ways to be green. Whether you’re looking to find new tips to decrease your environmental footprint or want to track your progress as you try to reach your green office goals, the list below can help:

Earth Day PDF Checklist

A Clean Fix for Earth Day

That long, cold winter is finally behind us! With the sun shining through our office windows, everyone is a little cheerier today.

Spring Cleaning for Earth Day

Brigid seems especially motivated. She’s finished all her tasks and has decided to give her workspace a thorough spring cleaning.

Her filing cabinet has been sorted, unnecessary documents shredded. Her desk is clutter-free and even her inbox is spotless. Next up, dusting and disinfecting her surfaces. She visits the break room to look for a bottle of bleach-based cleaner.

Martha is there, brewing a pot of coffee as Brigid rummages through the cupboard under the sink.

“Martha,” she asks, “have you seen the cleaner?”

“I just made a bottle!” Martha responds, leaving the coffee and motioning for Brigid to follow her. “On my way into the office today, I heard the most awful report on the radio.”

“Oh yeah…” Brigid says with a skeptical tone.Bottle Of Chemical Liquid With Hazard Symbol

“Yeah.” Martha says with a nod, “It was about chemical cleaners. You wouldn’t believe the harmful ingredients found in regular cleaners at the store. They can cause skin and eye irritation, not to mention that the chemicals linger in the air for hours after you use them. Imagine what that does to the environment –”

“But we need chemical cleaners to really clean our surfaces. I don’t want to catch a cold just because I’m afraid of a little bleach.” Brigid responds.

“No need to! A mix of tea tree oil, plain white vinegar, soap and water will disinfect just as well.”

Natural Cleaners. Vinegar, Baking Soda, Salt And Lemon.

“That seems like a lot of work…”

“Well,” Martha responds, “it sort of is. That’s why I’m putting in an Office Plus order later today. They sell all natural cleaners, too!”

“Really?” Brigid says, a bit surprised.

“It’s true.” Martha hands Brigid the bottle of natural cleaner. “Give it a try. It won’t irritate your skin like the regular stuff.”

Brigid looks it over. “Why not?” she says, heading back to her desk.

Moments later, Brigid returns to Martha’s desk with the bottle.

“Thanks,” Brigid beams, “now my spring cleaning is officially done! And my desk smells wonderful.”

Martha nods. She loves the smell of tea tree oil, too.

Brigid returns to her desk and takes a long, deep breath.

Just then, she hears, “Martha, where’s the bleach cleaner?” It’s Andy, Martha’s next green cleaner convert.

Admin Professionals: A Story Of Extraordinary Dedication to Sustainability

I feel the warmth of the sun’s rays shining through my office window and it’s like a weight is lifted from somewhere deep within my shoulders. There’s just something about spring that makes me feel rejuvenated. Perhaps it’s the way the change of season inspires a fresh start – or it could just be the extra Vitamin D, which we have all been missing out on this winter. Either way, there is definitely an extra spring in my step today.

Martha - Admin Professional

Martha – Admin Professional

It might also have something to do with the meeting I have this morning with Martha, our intern who was recently promoted to administrative assistant. Martha has been actively pursuing green opportunities for the office ever since she started here. She has already driven a lot of change, especially considering she’s worked here for just over one year now. Today I want to make sure she knows her efforts are recognized.

With that, I hear a light knock on my door. “Come in,” I call out.

Martha walks in wearing an enthusiastic grin and clutching a recycled notebook to her chest.

“Good morning, Rona,” she says.

“Morning Martha, take a seat,” I gesture towards the chair across from my desk.

She sits down, opens her notebook to a fresh page and retrieves a retractable ballpoint pen – made of water bottle waste plastic – from her pocket.

“You won’t be needing to take any notes today, Martha,” I say, as a slightly mischievous smile spreads across my face.

Martha looks slightly confused. “Oh, okay,” she says.

Here comes the fun part.

“You know, you have been doing some really great things for our environmental program,” I say.

She looks at me curiously.

“You’ve trained all of the employees here to be much more conscientious of their recycling efforts. You’ve taken initiative and helped us gradually replace the majority of our products with those made of previously recycled materials. There’s no question you’ve lead us to make some substantial changes in reducing the business’ carbon footprint.”

Martha’s cheeks take on a slightly rouged tint. “I enjoy doing it,” she says. “It’s something I’m passionate about.”

“I understand that, and I called you in here today to let you know we all appreciate your keen attitude and your hard work.”

I pause for effect.

“That being said, we’d like to take the opportunity to show you just how much we value your efforts. In celebrating both Administrative Professionals Day and Earth Day, we have decided to upgrade your desk with the Bamboo Desk Set from this month’s Office Plus Flyer.”

Martha beams in excitement.

Eco-friendly Bamboo Desk Set - Office Plus

“Everything is made from environmentally preferred materials…” I start to explain.

“Yes, I know. I saw it today!” She interrupts. “Wow, thank you, that’s great.”

I nod. “You’re very welcome. That’s not all though. We’re also offering you a raise.” I take the envelope out from my top desk drawer and slide it towards her.

We take some time to discuss her pay increase in more detail, and as our meeting comes to an end she stands up to shake my hand. “I hope you know this is only the beginning,” she says. “I still have so many ideas to talk to you about.”

“I’m glad to hear it,” I reply. “We have some big plans for you, too.”

With that, she heads out of my office and I can’t help but notice a bit of an extra bounce in her walk. I sit back down in my chair by the window, looking out at the garden view. I really do love this time of year.

Happy Administrative Professionals Day 2014