May 29, 2023

Office Sustainability Tip of the Week

We are creatures of habit.  Fifteen or so years ago when offices first began using e-mail, you may have found yourself printing out every single one that you would send and receive.  Was it really necessary to print out that “Thank you for my birthday card!” e-mail from your co-worker?  At the time with e-mail being so new, maybe many of us DID think it was necessary!  Hopefully you still do not take printing out e-mails to that extreme, but if you took a moment to think about it, is it necessary to print out the e-mails that you do on a regular basis?  Maybe there are some annual projects that involve always printing out the correspondence between involved parties so that you have it as a reference for the future.  But is there another way to manage that in order to reduce the amount of printing that you do?

One suggestion that might be useful is to utilize the Folder feature in MS Outlook to store correspondence.  Hopefully you already do this as it’s an excellent way to stay organized.  But if you are not utilizing the Folder feature in Outlook, it is very easy to do.  Simply go to the Help feature in Outlook and browse “How to create a Folder” to get started.  Once you get familiar with using folders in Outlook, you will likely start to think of more and more ways to reduce the amount of e-mails that you normally print out.  Another great aspect of using folders is that if you’re checking your e-mail from home using EagleNet, you will be able to access your folders to pull up information that you might need while away from the office.  Much more convenient than having to wait to get back to the office to browse through a binder or stack of papers with that information printed out.  In addition to e-mails, also consider (if applicable) saving documents, presentations, and projects on your office’s shared drive as opposed to printing them out.  Always remember that not everything should be saved electronically — refer to the UMW policy regarding the Electronic Storage of Highly Sensitive Data as there are specific restrictions regarding how and when data can be electronically stored.

If you have any suggestions for things we can all do differently each day to create more sustainable environments, please feel free to leave a comment or email me the idea to be featured in a future Tip of the Week.

The PCS Action Group members for the “Office Sustainability Tip of the Week” are Kevin Caffrey, Elizabeth Sanders, Robert Louzek, and Dre Anthes.

Last week’s Tip of the Week: Donations.

About Brynn Boyer

Brynn Boyer is assistant director of media and public relations and a 2010 graduate of UMW.