I'm dreaming of a green Christmas 

photo by Elastic Design

Word is spreading that many companies drowning in this recession (which seems like all companies) are canceling the obligatory office holiday party. We have the perfect spin: say you decided to go green this holiday season, so you’re skipping the holiday party and saving loads of resources.

Truly, not having a party at all is the best way to color your office a lovely shade of pine green. But if you really want to gather everyone together for a toast of good cheer, think about ways to green your holiday party. If you really are trying to be an example of a green office, you’ll want to extend that sentiment to office parties.

A few tips:

• Send e-mail invitations to save paper.

• Skip the gift exchange, which saves everything from gas to go shopping to wrapping paper.

• If you must give gifts, reuse gift bags, ribbons and tissue paper. Even if tissue paper is crumpled, it’s still great for stuffing bags and boxes. It’s just going to get crumpled again anyway. Put your gift in a reusable shopping bag, a flower pot, serving dish or some other item that doubles as “wrapping” and a gift.

• Encourage carpooling and use of public transportation.

• Don’t use throw-away cups, plates, utensils.

• By local food if possible.

• Ask everyone to bring a donation for a local environmental group and then provide a company match.

• Skip the cocktail party and volunteer with a local environmental nonprofit or other green cause. Plant trees around the office or pick up trash along the road.

Check out this article from BusinessGreen.com for some more good tips. And here’s a green gift guide from TreeHugger.com to help with your green-themed shopping.

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Tuesday’s post “Would you pay extra green for green?” highlighted a survey indicating commercial real estate executives believe green office space is important. Check out this article from GlobeSt.com, a commercial real estate news Web site. It gives a good explanation of a new California law that soon will allow potential tenants to access energy consumption data on all nonresidential buildings. A good idea? Weigh in here.



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