5 Things: Make Your Office More Eco-Friendly

Green your office five ways thanks to these Web services

Green Office

Kelly Cookson (CC Licensed)

Staying green may be a priority for most people, but offices rarely share that concern. If you find yourself buried daily in an avalanche of paper, printers, and chemical-laden supplies, fear not--help is here. Below, five Web services to green even the reddest of workplaces.

1. Buy Greener

Want to see just how much of that ream of paper is recycled, or find a highlighter with reduced chemical content? Thegreenoffice.com rates its entire inventory of office supplies based on biodegradability and other environmental factors.

2. Print Smarter

Now that you've stocked up on paper, try sparing a few sheets. Software from GreenPrint (printgreener.com) lets you scrub banner ads, legalese and other Web dreck when you print a page. Meanwhile, the application logs statistics on how much paper, money and greenhouse gas you've saved.

3. Filter Snail Mail

Earthclassmail.com receives your mail and sends you e-mail scans of the envelopes, so you can choose which ones the company should forward to your office, which to open and scan, and which to send straight to the recycling bin. Perhaps you don't need all that help just to recycle paper, but it's a sure way to do it.

4. Give Stuff Away

Instead of taking a bat to your printer at the next "PC load letter" error, give it to someone who needs it. Post it on gigoit.org, a market for otherwise trash-bound electronics and other items available for pickup. Try the Facebook app and the Google Earth plug-in to find out who wants what in your area.

5. Stay Home

America's telecommuters collectively save about 840 million gallons of gas a year. Open-source telephone software Asterisk (asterisk.org) can help you join the ranks by enabling you to build your own conferencing systems and automated phone menus for use over inexpensive VoIP.