<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/officenow/2631530678/">Office Now</a> / <a href="http://foter.com/">Foter</a> / <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">CC BY</a>It’s practically summertime, so many of you will probably be spending more time outside. Taking in Mother Nature is a certain way to recharge your batteries a bit. You’re hopefully like us and want to leave Mother Nature a bit better off for your visit. When we go out we’re careful to leave nothing behind but footprints and often bring a bit of somebody else’s trash as well.

You can also make an impact when you’re at work.

As Americans, we like stuff. Lots of it. We have a tendency, however, to tire of our stuff and get rid of it at an alarming rate. Americans generate more trash than any other nation on Earth. In fact, around 4.6 pounds of it per person, per day.

We wrote recently about filing cabinets and protecting your paperwork. We talked about an awesome Swingline Shredder that we offer. Why not take that shredded paperwork and turn it into more paper? Recycling is a great way to reduce your environmental impact, and there are many companies that will come pick it up for you.

We would love to continue to sell you paper and for you to offer it up for recycling, but there is also the option of making more of your daily drudgery paper-free. So there’s that.

Do you know what else lends itself to recycling? Your old gadget. When we make computers and printers and phones and electronics we use some pretty nasty stuff. Your old gizmo is loaded with things like mercury and cadmium and nickel and other sorts of minerals that won’t break down in a landfill. Most counties and cities across Virginia offer regular Electronics Recycling Days. Let’s keep those things out of the trash as well.

How about adding a bit of greenery? We have a friend who could probably kill a plastic plant, but adding some plants to your office has a couple of immediate benefits. Some color in your office improves moods. It’s like painting walls bright colors. Plants are also natural filters. The take in the chemicals and toxins put off by your carpets and electronics and turn them into oxygen. That’s a good thing. Something you may not know is this: Plants have a natural process called “transpiration.” Plants absorb water from soil and the air, and then spit a bit of it back out into the air. This humidity actually helps cool the inside of a building, and enough greenery will lower your air conditioning costs.

How about that?

Lastly, turn it off.

Your computer isn’t processing invoices while you’re at home watching Shark Tank. Your calculator isn’t compounding interest while you sleep. When you leave for the day, look around at all of the electronics that can be turned off for the evening. And not put in sleep mode – actually turned off. They do nothing but suck up electricity and generate heat. And they’ll still be there for you in the morning.