Anyone keeping up with the presidential race between incumbent Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney will likely hear a great deal about the environment.
Reducing our reliance on foreign oil and minimizing waste, both men argue, is crucial for a strong, healthy America.
Many people may feel like this is a national-level issue that is hard to affect on an individual level.
However, many advocates and experts have begun citing research that shows how even small, personal lifestyle changes can have a cumulative, positive effect on the environment.
One of the best ways for individuals to help the cause is in their offices. Work environments require a great deal of energy use and often produce a considerable amount of waste. Therefore, professionals who work hard to make their offices as energy efficient as possible can have a big impact on the country's green efforts.
According to Scientific American, initiatives as simple as replacing traditional light bulbs with LED lights and making a concerted effort to turn off idle devices can make a big difference. Taking the time to draft a plan and propose benchmarks to monitor progress are useful for establishing a lasting, effective plan, the source reports.
Another way to green up your office is to reevaluate office equipment and machinery with an eye toward energy savings. For example, finding computers and printers that meet or exceed energy standards can reduce power use in your office - and save you money in the process.
Faxing is another technology ripe for going green. Traditional fax machines use a significant amount of toner and ink, as well as going through reams of paper. Historically, because these devices automatically print all incoming messages, it has been hard to control the amount of paper waste they produce without fundamentally changing the way your company communicates.
However, a new system offers a potential solution to this quandary. Internet faxing allows users to receive incoming faxes on a laptop, tablet or smartphone. This way, it is easy to only print the messages that require paper copies, which can lead to meaningful reductions in paper, ink and toner use.
Furthermore, online faxing makes it infinitely easier for workers to carry out their jobs from home, which can help an office cut back on transportation-related energy use. Instead of having to come to the office to send or receive a fax, workers can now easily check their emails from anywhere with an internet connection.
Although it will take a collective effort, increased energy efficiency can easily start in your office.