In the office

PCs and monitors

  • Switch off your monitor if you are away from your desk for more than a few minutes.
  • Shut down your PC if you are away from your desk for more than a couple of hours.
  • Set your monitor to switch off/shut down when not in use (Start > Control panel > Display)


  • Make the most of natural light.
  • Switch off lights when they are not needed and when you are last to leave a room.
  • Turn off lights in the toilets, kitchen, meeting rooms etc when not needed.
  • Flickering fluorescent tubes use more energy. If you see one, report it!

Heating and other equipment

  • Keep doors and windows shut (and don’t open them to cool a room if the heating is on - turn heating off)
  • Connect water coolers, vending machines and boilers to timer switches so that they are not constantly in use over evenings and weekends.
  • Don’t use air conditioning if the heating is on. They work against each other and waste energy.
  • If you feel the cold, wear more clothes!


  • Paper that's already been used on one side can be re-used for draft documents. It can also be reused in plain paper fax machines.
  • Reuse old paper for notes.
  • Reuse envelopes by using stickers.
  • Recycle all paper, magazines (cancel unwanted subscriptions) and cardboard.
  • Visit the waste minimisation section of the website for more information about what you can do to minimise waste in your business.


  • Do you really need a hard copy?
  • Consider changing the margin sizes, especially on drafts and reducing the point size and ink density of your text to save paper, or printing multiple pages per page.
  • Don’t print the whole document if you only need certain pages. Go to File > Print > and in the ‘Page range’ section, select either ‘Current page’ if you want to print the page you’re working on or select ‘Pages’ and put in the page numbers you want to print.
  • Set your printer defaults to print black and white, and double sided.
  • Recycle all waste ink toner - there are charities who benefit from taking the empty cartidges.


  • Use the size reduction feature. Multiple pages of a book or periodical can often be copied onto one standard sheet.
  • Photocopy double sided.
  • Put a paper recycling box beside the photocopier.


  • Run meetings electronically.
  • Take notes on scrap paper or record minutes directly into your laptop.
  • Consider if any of the attendees can take part by video or telephone conference.
  • If people have to attend in person, use the travel hierarchy - active travel, public transport, pool car, car share.