Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Best Eco-Friendly Office Practices


⇨  Shut off all monitors or put computers into energy saving modes to save energy while your computer is not in use.

⇨  Change computer preferences to sustainable power settings—these include a faster sleep time and also lower lighting (such as dimming the screen and keyboard).

⇨  Put all copiers and printers into sleep mode after a short period of inactivity.

⇨  Make sure all lights are turned off when a room is not in use (including all offices, closets and bathrooms).

⇨  Use CFL (compact fluorescent light bulbs) or LED lights in all desk lamps and light fixtures.

⇨  Make sure the temperature and fan settings are at appropriate levels.

⇨  Use central power strips to turn off individual work stations each night.

⇨  Microwaves, coffee makers and other appliances should be unplugged at night.

⇨  During the winter, all windows should be shut tightly and all blinds should be closed at night.



⇨  Recycling bins should be present in all common areas as well as other rooms where trash bins are also present (kitchens, break rooms, mail rooms, copy rooms).

⇨  Accurately labeled recycling signs should be clearly posted near every recycling bin.

⇨  Recycling bins should also be present at every meeting or event sponsored by the office.

⇨  Before disposal of furniture and equipment, contact Facilities and Operations to see if the objects can be reused.

⇨  There should be at least one recycling bin for small electronic waste: CFL’s, CD’s, batteries, cell phones, pagers, PDA’s, ink cartridges etc.  Batteries and ink cartridges can be taken to the Wohlsen Center to be recycled.  

⇨  Each work area or desk should have its own recycling bin.

⇨  Reduce paper margins to decrease paper consumption.



⇨  Print and copy on both sides of a piece of paper whenever possible. Place a sign reminding employees to do so.

⇨  Reuse paper that has only been printed on one side and keep a scrap paper box beside each printer or copier.

⇨  Promote the use and reuse of inter-office envelopes whenever possible.

⇨  Have a designated area for sharing office supplies that can be reused (file folders, binders, paper clips, pens).

⇨  Contact magazine and new distributors to receive fewer publications to the office.



⇨  If a newsletter is published, it should mainly be distributed electronically.

⇨  Contact distributors to use paper with 100% recycled paper.

⇨  For printing done outside department, ask if the paper used complies with Forest Stewardship Council certifications.

⇨  Ask external printing contractor to use vegetable-based inks for publications.

⇨  Design publications that use fewer varnishes and coatings.



⇨  Before any meeting or event, remind attendees to bring reusable mugs or silverware if snacks and beverages are being served.

⇨  Use reusable cups, dishware and utensils whenever possible.

⇨  Use recycled paper products over plastic.

⇨  Buy as much in bulk as possible (sugar, salt, condiments, beverages).



⇨  Ensure that employees feel as though there are bike racks conveniently stationed near all offices.

⇨  Promote F&M’s carpooling — when coordinating events, try to limit the amount of transportation used. Take a large van instead of individual cars.  

⇨  Make sure employees and office members know of rideshares, biking options, and options for public transportation.

⇨  Research environmentally friendly transportation companies (Zip Car, Planet Tran).

⇨  Use hotels that have green certifications: US EPA, Energy Star label, LEED, EcoRoom.



⇨  Only purchase napkins, paper towels or other like products containing 100% recycled content.

⇨  Use environmentally safe dishwashing soap.

⇨  Replace bottle water service will a charcoal other simple water filtration system.

⇨  Switch to using tap water.

⇨  Environmentally safe products for home and office can be easily found!

o   Many websites offer green office supplies such as: and

o   Also, sustainable products can be found locally such as Home Depot and Target.



⇨  Before purchasing any new furniture or equipment, check with F&O to see if there are any available.

⇨  Purchase paper with 100% recycled content for printing and copying.

⇨   Use Energy Star or EPEAT certified appliances.

⇨  All other paper products used should contain 100% recycled materials (post-its, envelopes).