'Would you behave like that at home?' was my old headmaster's response to a display of sloppiness. Seems like an apt question here too. Many of us obsessively check the radiators back at the ranch and berate our partners for wasting precious energy; get to the office, though, and it's suddenly OK to leave electrical items humming away when we're not even using them. The Carbon Trust reckons small-to-medium businesses are spending £6bn a year on energy, and £1bn of that is just wasted. This adds up to about 700,000 tonnes of unnecessary carbon emissions. A typical company throws away £6,000 a year by leaving computers on overnight and at weekends. Then there are lights, monitors, printers, scanners, photocopiers...
Turn off lights in unused rooms and you can cut electricity bills by 15%. Make the most of natural light - not only is it better for the environment, it brightens your mood, too. Get in the habit of shutting down your computer every evening, including the monitor. It may seem a small gesture, but for a company of 1,000 people it will save 180 tonnes of CO2 a year. The cost of running each computer will drop from £37 a year to about £10, as well as saving enough energy to make 35,000 cups of coffee. Eco-Dave does not recommend drinking them all at once.
Two out of 10. So easy you can't not do it.
Dave Waller is MT's resident eco-prefect.