I have over the last 12 months started to think of ways to reduce the carbon footprint of my business Highland Accounting Services. The office is approximately 80 square metres in size and has 2 people working there, myself and a part time receptionist.
One of the first changes was to make sure equipment such as printers and computers were turned off when I leave at the end of the day. I have set up most areas to have the items that need to left on one power point and items that can be turned off on a second power point. So the computer gets turned off when I go home at the switch, but the answering machine is left on.
I have decommissioned 2 laser printers and replaced with a single printer that has duplex printing capabilities, not only saving electricity, I will also be saving paper as both sides will be printed on.
I started purchasing 100% recycled copy paper and envelopes. I will be looking for recycled alternatives to all purchases for the office.
Heating during the colder months is set at 20 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) and Cooling during the summer months is set at 26 Celsius (80 Fahrenheit).
In Adelaide there has been an excellent recycling service for some years, the empty soft drink cans and bottles can be returned for a 10 cent refund. All other wastes from the office are put into the appropriate waste or recycling bin. The vast majority of the office’s waste is recycled.
I have also reduced the number of fluorescent lights in my filing room. All the lights are turned on when I use my office, the filing room doesn’t need 4 tubes running all the time, so I have removed 2 tubes.
Update: August 2009, the changes made have reduced the average daily use to 19.6 kWh, down from 24.1 kWh.
Update: May 2011, Solar Panels have been installed, 8 x 190-watt panels, which will be enough to cover the electricity usage of my office.
Update: March 2014, Over the last couple of years I have been cycling to work, using my car only when needed on wet days or when I am seeing clients late at night. Also, my electricity bill has been reduced to zero since adding the solar panels.