A Green Office?!?

Book Review of true green @ work

You’ve greened your home, now it is time to move on to another area of your life – work. Most Americans spend over a third of their week days at work and often it is harder to feel comfortable making changes outside of your home. This book focuses on how to green your “home away from home.” Don’t laugh; remember how much time you spend there!


true green @ work, written by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin with Tim Wallace, provides the reader with 100 ways to transform your office into an eco-friendly atmosphere. A number of the changes are small, such as buying recycled paper and vermicomposting your food scraps. Other changes are on a much larger scale. Building or renting a LEED certified building or using renewable energy sources is something that requires a bit more time, effort and money to procure, but it still not impossible for a business.

I enjoyed reading this book because it was short, succinct, gave great examples of companies that are eco-conscious, and was very visually appealing. As a teacher I found it difficult to read because working with a school system is much like being a worker at a very large company – you do not feel like you have a lot of say in what goes on at the system (or company) level. The book did make me think about the changes I could make. Some of our supplies are purchased as a school and not a school system, much like an office might purchase some items through an office budget.

Finding other people who share your concerns means you can band together and start asking the right questions; it is easier to do when you are not alone. Using a book like true green @ work may help you state your concerns and ideas more clearly. Without someone trying to make changes, changes are not likely to occur. My suggestion to you is that you run over to your local library and check out this book. Or, be more eco-conscious and check your library’s catalog before you go to make sure they have it and send in a request, so you know it will be there and no gas will be wasted.

The best section of this book is actually the reference section. Included is four pages of websites that can help with office greening. Multiple websites are available for each category, from advocacy groups to government agencies. The glossary is also useful, especially if the book gets into the hands of someone new to the environmental movement.

Finally, the holidays will be upon us in a few months. What better gift to give your manager than a book about greening the office? Perhaps you can leave a copy in your office’s lunch area. Someone may sit down to eat, read the book and have an epiphany.

I would recommend true green @ work as a must read for those involved with purchasing products for the office. If you are not in that position consider reading it and perhaps passing the book, its ideas, or the title on to those people that are in the best position to make green changes.

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