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tips for environmentally friendly behaviour in the workplace

1. Paper

The University of Cologne is increasingly using recycled paper. However, it is best to avoid paper consumption in the first place. Please use as little paper as possible and file documents digitally instead. This saves space and protects the environment. If you have to print – preferably double-sided and in black and white.

2. Lighting

Good office lighting is important for health in the working environment, but if it is bright enough, you can leave the lights off or turn them off – during the day as well as at night. A note on the light switch in the meeting rooms helps as a reminder to colleagues: ‘Turn off the lights’.

3. Electricity

If you are not using your computer at the moment, use the energy-saving mode and switch off your PC, monitor, and printer if you are not using these devices for some time. The same applies to tablets, smartphones, etc.

4. Cups & Bottles

Drink tap water at work instead of buying bottles. This reduces waste and transport-related CO2 emissions. Cologne’s water is known to be good, i.e. it is of drinking water quality. Also, use recyclable coffee cups and water bottles, even when travelling.

5. Disposal & Recycling

Waste should be disposed of separately in the appropriate containers wherever possible. For disposal of hazardous waste, please contact Staff Unit 02.2 (Work Safety and Environmental Protection).

6. IT equipment

Return electronic equipment to IT Services so that they can be properly recycled. You can also set up a collection point for electronic waste.

7. Lunch

Bring your lunch in a reusable container or use the dishes and cutlery in the UniMensa. Avoid food packaging made of disposable plastic.

8. Paper towels

Use your own towel. If paper towels are the standard, order the product with the highest percentage of recycled material.

9. Furniture

Create a network in your building for furniture recycling: one department's old furniture may find a new home with another team in the same building.

10. Clothing

There are now many social-ecological fashion labels that are not necessarily more expensive than other manufacturers. You might find an attractive alternative to conventionally produced goods here.

Inspire colleagues by sharing your experiences and recommending these 10 tips